I. INTRODUCTION 1. 2. 3. 4. Approximately 12 million enslaved Africans were deported between the 15th and 19th centuries. Most slaves were sent to the Americas. Slaves were exchanged for goods and merchandise on Africa’s west coast. The Slave Trade was the largest intercontinental transfer of people prior to the 20th century. II. ROOTS OF THE ATLANTIC SLAVE TRADE 1. 2. 3. The Slave Trade began because of the great demand for labor. Plantations (large farms) became very common, especially in the Americas. These plantations produced sugar cane, coffee, cocoa, rice, indigo, tobacco and cotton. II. ROOTS OF THE ATLANTIC SLAVE TRADE 4. Africans were seen as the ideal slaves for several reasons: A. Native Americans could easily escape because of their familiarity with the land. They also died from European diseases such as small pox and measles, while Africans had certain immunities for this disease. B. Africans also had immunities to certain tropical diseases, such as malaria. C. Indentured servants could easily escape because they could blend in with the European population. III. CONDUCT OF THE SLAVE TRADE 1. 2. 3. 4. For the most part, Europeans were only shippers of the slaves. Africans set up a very systematic way of capturing slaves and trading them with the Europeans. Europeans would set up out-posts along the western coast of Africa where they would trade goods for slaves. Slaves were exchanged for goods such as cloths, metals, firearms, gun powder, spirits, coins, horses and salt. III. CONDUCT OF THE SLAVE TRADE 5. 6. 7. 8. The Slave Trade became part of what was known as the Triangle Trade. In the first leg of the trade the Europeans brought commodities down to Africa to trade for slaves. In the second leg the Europeans transported the slaves to the Caribbean in exchange for sugar, tobacco and cotton. In the final leg the Europeans would sell these goods in Europe and North America. TRIANGLE TRADE IV. THE MIDDLE PASSAGE 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. The Middle Passage was the voyage from Africa to the Americas. On average 16% of the slaves would die during the passage. Slaves were kept on deck most of the day. Males were chained up while women and children were given more freedom to roam. Hygiene on board the ships was primitive. Food and water were sometimes contaminated and sanitary facilities were nonexistent. Dysentery was the most common killer of slaves during the Middle Passage. THE MIDDLE PASSAGE THE MIDDLE PASSAGE V. THE FINAL DESTINATION 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. About 10% of the slaves died during the assimilation period. Almost all slaves were exposed to heavy labor, poor housing and insufficient medical care. The harshest places for slaves to work were on sugar plantations in the Caribbean. The majority of slaves were sent to Central and South America. Only about 6% of the slaves ended up in the United States. “The men who fastened irons on the mothers took the children out of their hands and threw them over the side of the ship into the water. Two of the women leaped overboard after the children…One of the two women…was carried down by the weight of her irons before she could be rescued; but the other was taken up by some men in a boat and brought on board. This woman threw herself overboard one night when we were at sea.” What happened to each of the women above, and why did it happen? One woman drowned trying to save her baby after it was thrown overboard. The other woman, who had also jumped overboard VI. Cost of a Slave • Slaves were expensive. As the years of slavery passed, they became more expensive. Regardless, white farmers, plantation owners, and others bought slaves as an investment. • A healthy 18-year-old slave could be bought for $650 in 1845. (About $14,500 in today's dollars.) • That same slave could be sold five years later for $1,000. (About $21,000 in today's dollars.) VI. ABOLITION OF THE SLAVE TRADE 1. The Slave Trade was outlawed in Europe and North America by 1820. There were several reasons why this happened. A. Changing economic conditions. Europe and North America were beginning to industrialize and the plantation system became less important. B. Humanitarian concerns became more important during the Enlightenment. VII. IMPACT OF THE SLAVE TRADE TODAY 1. 2. 3. 4. The Slave Trade made Africa dependent upon Europe. The Slave Trade stifled technological advances in Africa. It caused wars and conflicts in Africa. There is a deep rooted problem of racism based on the color of skin that still exists today. This racism was highly encouraged and promoted during the slave trade. SOURCE Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.