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The Atlantic Slave Trade & The Columbian Exchange

Age of Exploration pt IV
by

Travis McFarland

on 12 December 2013

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Transcript of The Atlantic Slave Trade & The Columbian Exchange

The Atlantic Slave Trade & The Columbian Exchange
Setting
European owners had planned to use Native Americans as a source of cheap labor but millions of Native Americans died from disease, warfare, and brutal treatment.
Therefore, Europeans in Brazil, the Caribbean, and the southern colonies of North America soon turned to Africa for workers.
The demand of cheap labor resulted in the slave trade.
Slavery In Africa
The Demand For Africans
Europeans saw advantages in using Africans in the Americas:
1. Africans had been exposed to European diseases and built up some immunity.
2. Had farming experience and could be taught plantation work
3. Less likely to escape; they did not know the land.
4. Skin color made it easier to catch them if they did try to escape and tried to live among others.
Buying and selling Africans for work in the Americas was known as The Atlantic Slave Trade.
By the end of the Slave Trade in 1870 9.5 million Africans were imported to the Americas.
Slavery In Africa
Slavery had existed in Africa for centuries but it was minor.
The spread of Islam into Africa in the 17th century increased slavery and the slave trade.
Muslim rulers in Africa decided that non-Muslim POWs could be bought and sold as slaves.
Result: Between 650-1600, Muslims sent 17 million Sub-Saharan Africans to lands in North Africa and SW Asia

Spain And Portugal
By 1650, almost 300,000 Africans labored throughout Spanish America on plantations and in gold/silver mines.
During the 1600's, Brazil dominated the European sugar market but as the sugar industry grew, so did the European colonists demand for cheap labor.
About 40% of Africans went to Brazil.
Slavery spreads to the America's
Europeans established colonies in the Americas and their demand for cheap labor grew.
From 1690 to 1807 (when England abolished the slave trade) it was the leading carrier of enslaved Africans.
By the time the slave trade ended, the English had transported 1.7 million Africans to the West Indies.
About 400,000 were brought to North American colonies.
In America, the slave population steadily grew.
Nearly 2 million slaves in US around 1830.



Slavery In The Americas
If they survived the ocean voyage, Africans faced a difficult life in the Americas.
They were usually auctioned off to highest bidder, worked in mines or fields, or domestic servants.
little food, terrible housing, long work days and violent beatings
Lifelong and hereditary
Africans kept their cultural heritage alive to cope with the horrors of slavery
music, stories and religion
Some found ways to resist by working slower, running away, breaking tools, etc.
Larger revolts/uprisings occurred in Brazil, West Indies and the U.S.


Consequences of Slave Trade
Africa
In Africa, numerous cultures lost generations of their young, able and fittest members.
Families were torn apart.
Experienced devastation with the introduction of guns to the continent.
Africans contributed greatly to the economic and cultural develop of the Americas:
1. Labor
Colonies like Haiti and Barbados might not have survived without their backbreaking work
2. Culture
Art, music, religion, and food
Large African and mixed population all over the Americas

Global Trade
New wealth from the Americas paired with the growth in overseas trade prompted new business and trade practices in Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries.
Many of which served as a root to today's financial dealings.
Capitalism
: an economic system based on private ownership and on the investment of money for profit.
Joint- stock company
: People buy shares of stock in a company; combining wealth for common purpose. (common purpose was American Colonization)
Mercantilism
became a new economic policy, a country's power depended mainly on it's wealth
Two ways to increase wealth and power:
1. Obtain as much gold and silver (wealth) as possible
2. Establish a favorable balance of trade by selling more goods than bought.
Columbian Exchange
Ships from Americas brought back a wide variety of items Europeans, Asians, and Africans had never seen before.
tomatoes, squash, pineapple, turkey, and more (see image)
Most important items to travel from Americas were corn and potatoes.
played a significant role in boosting the worlds population)
Europeans introduced horses, cattle, sheep, pigs, bananas, yams and more to the Americas.
Diseases were a part of the Columbian Exchange.
smallpox, measles, influenza, malaria, and more

Triangle Trade System
Economic Revolution Changes European Society
Economic Revolution encouraged the growth of towns and a rise of a class of merchants who controlled the wealth.
Much of Europe's population continued to live in rural areas and remained poor.
The Economic Revolution increased the wealth of European nations.
African/Muslim Slavery
Slaves had some legal rights and some opportunities for social mobility.
Some occupied positions of influence/power
Some served as generals
Could escape bondage in numerous ways, including marrying into the family they served.
Never could have imagined the form of slavery they were about to get involved with.
After being captured, African men and women were shipped to the Americas as part of a profit-driven trade network.
Along the way millions of Africans died
Sickening cruelty and dehumanization.
The Role of Africans
African kings reaped the financial gains of slavery by bartering directly with Europeans.
In addition, African sellers captured slaves and traded them in coastal markets for cloth, iron, firearms, liquor and decorative items from European and American traders. They were able to achieve marked prestige from their newfound wealth, which was bought on the backs of slaves.
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