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Transatlantic Slave Trade and the Columbian Exchange

Origins, Global, Economic and Cultural Impacts / Presentation by Erika Estrada and Katherine Smith


on 15 November 2012

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Transcript of Transatlantic Slave Trade and the Columbian Exchange

a period of cultural and biological exchanges between the New and Old Worlds Columbian Exchange Diseases Beginning Europeans explored westward (late 15th Century) to find a sea route to the East to end dependence on Muslim traders
After Columbus found the Caribbean, Europeans found the Americas had a lot to offer in wealth
Spaniards and Portuguese conquered lands in in South and Cent. Americas to mine gold and silver
1570s- Portuguese established sugar plantations in Brazil
demand for sugar grew, and plantations
popped up in the West Indies
demand for labor grew in the colonies, so a search for new avenues began Topic 3 not all aspects of exchange were positive

Exchange can be credited for transmission of diseases which had adverse effects on both Worlds

diseases were transferred both ways

Europeans and Native Americans suffered immensely from diseases foreign to them Common Old World Diseases Small Pox
Yellow Fever
Chicken Pox Common New World Diseases Syphilis
Encephalitis Reasons Native American population was devastated by the illnesses brought by Europeans no prior exposure made them very susceptible

isolation caused immune systems to not be able to combat the diseases

nearly all diseases were communicable by air/touch, making them easy to spread rapidly

diseases spread so quickly, some became infected before even coming into direct contact with Europeans Animals passage to New World was made by animals as well
difference in animals was extraordinary
introduced new means of transportation, new labor form, and food source
horses, donkeys, and ox were responsible for revolutionization of labor
overgrazing of large herds of sheep transformed grasslands
introduced new means of transportation, new labor form, and food source
pigs reproduced fastest, and served as meat for explorers New World Animals dogs
guinea pigs
many fowl species
two kinds of South American Camels
turkeys Old World Animals horses
cattle Plants changed economy and culture of both Worlds New World Plants avocado
chili pepers beans
sweet potatoes Maize and Potatoes Maize-
can be stored almost indefinitely
offered an alternative to wheat
supported economies and sustained great population growth Potatoes-
can resist cold and grow in thin soil
used as cheap food for sailors
weak European soil was great for growing
became a dietary staple in Europe Transatlantic Slave Trade Departure 1420s- Prince Henry sent ships to the West Coast of Africa to explore and trade (brought back ivory and slaves)
1452- Pope granted the Portuguese permission to attack/enslave the people South of Cape Bojudor
1491- Treaty of Tordesillas was signed with Portugal to supply all Spanish colonies in America with African Slaves
Dutch, English, French followed by 1650 with West African Nations
European capitalized on existing African slave trade
1st slaves were likely prisoners of war/debtors Enslavement most African slaves were captured in battle, kidnapped, or sold into slavery for debt/punishment

European and African dealers had a sophisticated network of trading alliances for gathering captives and marching them to the coast

captives were taken from fort to waiting ship (loaded aboard as cargo, and chained together)
Middle Passage journey of slave ships across Atlantic Ocean caused diaspora of millions of Africans to the Americas
Captives were: taken aboard, stripped naked and examined, had ropes replaced with iron shackles
Men: packed in lower deck and secured by leg irons; everyone was forced to crouch or lie down; very cramped
Women and Children: kept together in separate quarters, allowing more space, but making them vulnerable to sexual abuse
epidemics of fever, and Small Pox were common place Arrival Africans sold many times before reaching final destination
most ended up Caribbean plantations
others worked in mines, towns, countryside
Women were brought in from fields as servants, nurses, dressmakers, and cooks
African slaves were preferable to the colonists
Trafficking: Brazil-41%
British and French-owned colonies (Caribbean) and Spanish American holdings-47%
Dutch, Danish, and Swedish colonies- 5%
USA-7% (while only having 7%, had highest annual natural increase in slaves Economics Africans became vital to cultivation of sugar, tobacco, cotton, and other goods

plantation system produced huge fortunes for many nations, companies, and individuals Culture/Religion African religion was more connected to everyday life
looked for religious answers for all problems
often believed in ghosts, fetishes, and other physical manifestations of spiritual forces
forced to convert to Christianity
The shortage of men in some places in Africa changed the structure of many societies, thrusting women into the men's roles
racial mixing increased during and after the abolition of the slave trade and slavery
black churches were created
Zion schools for children were created
music adapted and changed
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