From the mid 15th century through the majority of the 19th century, slave trade was used to supply laborers to the Americas. The ways used to bring these forced laborers to the Americas lacked humane treatment of them as slaves. Overall the neglect of humanitarian concerns had a violent and inhumane impact on the treatment of the slaves throughout their capture, trade, transportation, and continued life as a slave. Throughout the slave trade, from 1450 to 1870, many Africans were kidnapped from their homes by both fellow Africans and Europeans who treated these prospective slaves in a similar manner. Document 3 is a piece of artwork that demonstrates how Africans were treated by their captors, who are also of African descent. Even though those …show more content…
Conditions aboard the ships were horrendous and very inhumane. The following documents describe these horrors though different types of documents. Document 4 is a picture that depicts the treatment of slaves aboard the ships. This image entitled “Living Africans Thrown Overboard,” delivers a straightforward meaning to what the image portrays. This title fully expresses the torture that was placed on them. Document 6 is the personal surveyance of Robert Walsh, describing the cruel things these people were forced to endure; often driving them to insanity. The author of this passage, Robert Walsh, did not personally encounter these cruel happenings for himself, but did witness them. He seemed to sympathize with those enslaved and realized what the circumstances were which produced unhealthy results for the enslaved. Document 5 is an image that describes the layout of the slave ship. This image truly shows how the captors had no regard for the comfort of the captives, but rather were concerned with how many bodies could fit. The space each slave was given was not nearly enough, making them more susceptible to diseases. Diseases often spread rapidly, killing many of the slaves aboard. While these enslaved men and women suffered in these ships, the captors lived more comfortably with room to roam and food to eat. An additional document that would help to prove the horrible treatment of slaves due to transportation would be a record of the cargo aboard the ship. This would tell the initial amount of slaves that were taken, allowing the determination of how many slaves were lost throughout their transport. Knowing this would allow one to understand how horrific the travel had actually been due how the slaves were dealt with. Documents 4, 5, and 6 portray the awful treatment of slaves during their transportation across the ocean and how the way they were
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One of the major questions asked about the slave trade is ‘how could so Europeans enslave so many millions of Africans?” Many documents exist and show historians what the slave trade was like. We use these stories to piece together what it must have been to be a slave or a slaver. John Barbot told the story of the slave trade from the perspective of a slaver in his “A Description of the Coasts of North and South Guinea.” Barbot describes the life of African slaves before they entered the slave trade.
Being enslaved came with the most underprivileged shelter, clothes, food, and unpaid labor. The slave owner’s wealth indicated whether how well the slave lived or how poorly. (83) Depending on the slave owner, slaves every year would get either clothes or material to make clothes. (84) The slaves did not usually have a healthy diet, their usual meal would consist of rice, fatback, cornmeal, and salt pork. (83) The slaves did not know that eating all of those foods every meal that they could get many diseases. The diseases included slight blindness, sore eyes, skin irritations, rickets, toothaches, pellagra, beriberi, and scurvy. (83) ...
The slaves were not afforded the luxury the white people enjoyed that was the universal belief that one’s life has value simply because they are human; the white oppressors did not see the enslaved Africans as humans, therefore they did not afford them the inherent value bestowed upon human life. The practices conducted aboard the slave ships coincided with the believe that the Africans were nothing but cargo or livestock. Hine describes the practice of “tight packing” writing, “most captains were “tight packers,” who would squeeze human beings together in hope that large numbers would offset increased deaths.” She continues in a subsequent passage claiming, “one third of the Africans subjected to the trade perished between their capture and their embarkation on a slave ship” (Hine, 2012). There is no clearer indication that the white slavers felt the lives of the enslaved Africans were worthless than the blatant disregard for slave mortality aboard the ships. The captors attempted to keep the enslaved alive simply in order to receive monetary recompense, however, Hine’s describes slavers as being exceptionally cruel to enslaved Africans aboard ships despite the possible monetary consequences. Finally, Hine describes how the amount of value placed on an enslaved African’s life and health was directly proportional to the amount of money that slave was worth, when describing the experience of women aboard slave ships. Hine writes, “because the women were less valuable commodities, crew members felt they had license to abuse them sexually” (Hine, 2012). This passage describes how different enslaved Africans faced different amounts of cruelty and abuse based on the assumed price this person was worth. Not only were all the enslaved black people seen as less than human, some people were
Slaves had an expanding economic force for the Europeans. “Trade between the Europeans and Africans created the first route of the triangular slave trade”. African citizens were “forcibly removed from their homes to never return”. Sales of Africans were classified as having the full cooperation of the “African kings” in return for various trade and goods. Africans who were exchanged were forced to walk chained to the coast of the Indian Ocean. Once at the coast they were stripped of all their clothes, men, women and children all alike with just a loincloth, or strips of blue tap for women to cover their chest area. Once the Africans boarded the ship they were divided by sex, males in the bowel of the ship and the women on the upper deck. The men would be chained side by side by their necks with barely enough room to move. African women were forced to do the “unmentionable acts”. Neither were fed or watered well, and the men would be forced to sit in their own “excrement, and vomit”. Once in awhile the men would be brought to the deck and rinsed off with cold water. While on deck they would be forced to dance to “entertain the ships crew”. Many Africans would try to “revolt” or commit “suicide”, when revolting against their captors many Africans would die. For as much as “3- 6 months” the Africans would endure these torments. Once the ship ported in the America’s shore, all the Africans would be “cleaned up and stripped naked to be sold”. Once the Africans were sold they were no longer Africans to the Merchants, they were product, and, no longer having rights as humans; they were caught into what is called chattel slavery. For approximately “246 years” African Americans would endure such bondage.
After reading Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, it is clear to see the true horrors behind the entirety of slavery. It is one thing to learn about it from a textbook or to sit through a lecture, but it is a completely different experience to get an account of how grossly inhumane, frightening, and appalling slavery really was from someone who experienced the terrors first-hand. Reading this narrative provided extremely descriptive details of how slaves truly were treated. Douglass recounted the time where he had often:
The movement of African captives by Europeans to America and European countries was known as the trans-Atlantic slave trade, which “began in the 15th century” (Adi). Africans were enslaved to do difficult labour, such as building railroads and working on plantations, for little to no cost for their owners. Africans tried to hold
In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, slavery connected the world. Slaves were present on almost every continent and were traded frequently across the Atlantic Ocean. Various countries influenced their allies, persuading others to join the chaotic process of selling human lives. Slaves were taken from their native homeland in Africa, sold to plantation owners in the West Indies, and then shipped to their final destination: the United States of America. This was not just a bad habit or business tactic; slavery became a cruel lifestyle. Thousands of lives were altered, leaving a considerable impact on the physical, emotional, and social aspects of society. Many causes attributed to American
The living conditions on the ships were awful. Slaves were crammed into a small area overflowing with other slaves all crowded together. Slaves battled dehydration, being given little to no water, and malnourishment, being given small amounts of food, and no place to use the bathroom. Viruses like scurvy and fly disease spread rapidly throughout the ship. Slaves also battled dehydration and malnourishment. The long time on the ships is another condition the slaves had to go through for months at a time. Many slaves died before getting to their destination.
Exhausted and undernourished by the time they boarded the large oceangoing vessels, the captives were placed in dark and crowded holds. Most had been poked and prodded by slave traders, and some had been branded to ensure that a trader received the exact individuals he had purchased. Once in the hold, they might wait for weeks before the ship finally set sail. By that time, the foul-smelling and crowded hold became a nightmare of disease and despair. There was never sufficient food or fresh water for the captives, and women especially were subject to sexual abuse and rape by crew members. Many captives could not communicate with each other since they spoke different languages, and none of them knew exactly where they were going or what would happen when
Between 1500 & 1890, millions of slaves were taken from Africa. Approximately11,863,000 Africans were shipped across the atlantics, bound with iron shackles and driven by the string of the whip. These slaves were loaded into the decks by for hundreds, the stench was so horrifying. Many lives were lost from disease, abuse and killing on the middle of the passage, as a result the death rate during the passage reduced the number by 10-20 percent. Between 9.6 and 10.8 million Africans arrived in the America. The slaves were forcibly imported into the America and they were sold at auctions and their families were torn apart forever. Du Boise works talk about the mental and physical sufferings of slaves that delivered severe damage to the Negro psyche. African slaves were forced to give up their language, culture and identity and adopt white customs, this disconnection from their source of self-concept and identity made them suffer from sub-conscious inferiority complex. They were psychologically so depressed and they started believing that they deserve the treatment they are receiving. If you are told something enough times, you would come to believe that what you were being told is true. The practices such as castration and removal of limbs for small infections made those slaves physically incapacitated who were already suffering from psychological torment and indoctrination. There were practices called battles royals where one group of slaves had to fight against other group of slaves just for the entertainment of slave owners.
The slave Traders genuinely did not care about the treatment of slaves, and they treated them how ranchers would treat their cattle. This is proven by Zinn, “They are brought down to a large plain, where the ships surgeon examines every part of them, to the smallest member, men and women being stark naked… Such are allowed good and sound are set on one side… Marked on the breast with a red hot iron, imprinting the mark of the French, English, or Dutch companies” (28). The Traders did not care about the treatment of the slaves only that the slaves got to their future Owners marked and ready for servitude. If a few slaves were lost along the way it did not bother the Traders much, they still got their profit and moved on. While the slave Owners had to treat them a little better because they were their property now. The treatment of slaves in America became known as, “It was a harsh servitude, but they had rights which slaves brought to America did not have, and they were altogether different from the human cattle of the slave ships and the American plantations” (27). The slave Traders treated the slaves like products while the slave Owners simply thought of them as farming equipment. The Owners knew in order to prosper they needed to take care of their equipment, but the slave Traders had the mentality that “there’s more where that came from”. It is in this way the slave Owners and Traders are
"Perhaps worse than the physical pain was the psychological damage done to the slaves who were whipped" (Currie 47). If a person wasn't born a slave, they were forced into being one. Slaves were commonly captives from the losing side of a battle, even the defeated soldiers' families could be enslaved. People would also sell their children to pay off a large debt. Once a slave was captured, there was a journey to survive. They were transported in large cargo ships named slave ships. Here, they would travel up to months while suffering from mental and physical abuse. While on board, each slave was stripped naked and inspected by the captain or a surgeon. Men were shoved under the deck and fixed with heavily painful leg irons. At times, they were not even able to move, or stand, from being too crammed together. The women and children were kept in w different section of the ship. Occasionally, they would be let onto the deck of the ship to move around. Although, this often brought them sexual abuse from the crew. On days with good weather, slaves would be woken up in the middle of the morning to exercise on the deck. Usually, slaves were fed twice a day, but if they refused to eat they would be force fed ("Life" 2-3). Also, horrible hygienic conditions meant they were in constant risk of getting infected with diseases. A harmless disease could easily turn into a deadly one on a slave ship, and if a slave were to die, their dead body would be thrown overboard.
All were subject to harsh circumstances and the relentless fears of shipwreck and disease outbreaks. It took as long as five to twelve weeks, depending on the weather circumstances and point of departure. The captain and the crew workers treated the slaves like wild animals, giving them barely enough food to survive and leaving them to suffer with lice, fleas, and rats, which led to many diseases (“Middle Passage”). The records stated that about two –thirds of the fatalities were caused by malaria, yellow fever, and intestinal disorders (Postma 25). The enslaved Africans were linked with heavy iron chains around their hands and feet with barely enough room to lie down (Howarth). Constant odors of urine, vomit...
conditions aboard ship were dreadful. The maximum number of slaves was jammed into the hull, chained to forestall revolts or suicides by drowning. Food, ventilation, light, and sanitatio...
It is prudent to speak here to the inhumane way in which the slaves were transported during this first leg of the journey. The trading of slaves was very lucrative for the Europeans. As it goes in business, the higher the demand, the larger the quantities supplied. All the slaves were branded to show to whom they belonged, and the male slaves were shackled together and packed in the hole like sardines, while the women and children were sometimes allowed to stay on deck. Any acts of aggression by the men or women resulted in severe beatings to discourage the behavior. Imagine being beaten and shackled with a rival tribe man or not being able to communicate with the person beside you because you both spoke different languages!