Atlantic Slave TradeThe Atlantic Slave Trade, also commonly referred to as the “Transatlantic Slave Trade” took place between the 16th, and the 19th centuries. The slave trade acted as the cause for bringing in twelve to fifteen million slaves throughout the 16th century to mid 19th century. Mainly bringing slaves in from parts of Africa to the western hemisphere of the world, the slave trade was indeed a very “white” revolved trade. Although initially made to benefit the South American regions of the world, the slave trade slowly but surely made its way to different parts of the world. In this essay, the origins of the slave trade, the slave transport route, and the types of slavery within this period of time will be discussed.The origins of the Atlantic Slave Trade are most commonly traced back to the Portuguese as early as the 15th century.
The Portuguese had developed new ways to exploit others, via ships, boats, etc., and had set out initially to the coast of West Africa. By this time, the amount of slaves being transported was not numbered to a high quantity. However, by 1650, the trade had exponentially grown.
Due to the development of early plantations, the demand for work had risen, therefore causing slaves to be traded more frequently. After the Portuguese, many European countries had followed these actions, and further after, the slave trade made its way into the Americas. Although Portugal is credited with the first steps into the Atlantic Slave Trade, most of it is now known for North American and European regions. The route that was taken was mainly a triangle route, which connected the Americas, to the Europeans, and ultimately, the Africans. The Americas would send raw materials and resources to Europe, who would manufacture these materials and trade them to Africa. The trade, of course, being the slaves. The slaves were taken via ships to the Americas, and this triangle of trade repeated for centuries.
Much of the trade was done by sending materials like cotton, and items like guns to Africa, in exchange for enslaved individuals. The slaves would then make their way to North and South America where they were expected to produce goods like sugar in large plantations. The triangle trade route made it efficient for goods and items to be traded in exchange for slaves, and was repeated for many centuries.
Many forms of slavery were present during the Atlantic Slave Trade period. Chattel Slavery, one of the most common types of slavery during the Atlantic Slave Trade involved treating the slaves like property, thus being able to trade them like property. Forced Labour was also a common type of slavery during the times of the Atlantic Slave Trade. As the name suggests, the slaves were forced to work, and often threatened had they refused. This slave system was very common during the 1600-1900’s. With different plantations opening, the need for hard labor increased, therefore forced labor was “necessary”. Many types of slavery have existed throughout history, however, the most noticeable and dominant types throughout the Atlantic Slave Trade were chattel and forced labour.
With the development of plantations and factories, the Atlantic Slave Trade had been popularized by various different countries. Although originating in Portugal, ultimately, the Atlantic Slave Trade benefited the North American and European regions the most. As a result of slavery in these regions, work was getting done at an extremely low cost, boosting their economy, boosting their political level, and eventually, boosting their social grade. Timeline1441First slaves taken by Portuguese1502First slaves taken into the “New World” (Western Hemisphere)1530The Atlantic Slave Trade becomes the largest migration in human history1560Slave trading to South America becomes a more often occurrence1637The Dutch become involved in slave trade1641Plantations in the Caribbean expand and begin to export sugar (a very valued resource).
Resulting in more slaves.1698The British opens slave trading to everyone, causing it to become more popular.1739The first slave rebellion, resulting in over 30 whites dead.1777Vermont becomes the first American territory to abolish slavery.1803Denmark becomes first country to entirely abolish slavery1820The U.S deems slavery a punishable by death act1836Originating in Portugal, slavery comes to an end in Portugal itself1860-1870The slave trade comes to an end, however slaves are still illegally used.
Much less slavery, that it is generally unseen.