The Causes Of The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade

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The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Esme Tyler 5/8/14 Research Paper Esme Tyler 4/7/14 The Trans-Atlantic slave trade was the largest long-distance suppressed movement of people in history. The African Slave trade movement during the 17th century was instrumental for Europe’s suffering work force, as every aspect/stage of slave trade benefitted merchants. Because Africans had a reputation of being hard working, agriculturally knowledgeable, adaptable to climate, and resistant to disease, they were objectified and stripped of their identity as humans, and pushed to work without consent. The trans-Atlantic slave trade was a process of dehumanizing a group of people, in order to revamp the European economy. Before the slave trade began, Europeans had ideas about Africa, before discovery, which varied with “time and pace” (Davidson, 23). Africa was extremely foreign to Europe, as the only information they has was from a memoir written by a traveler titled “Inner Africa” in 1447. The information in the memoir is known as “caravan gossip” which was picked up by a traveler named Antonio Malfante, was wildly untrue. Malfante told Europeans that in the south of Tuat and the deserts surrunding Tuate: “there are black people who have innumerable great cities and territories” (Davidson, 24). He explained further that Africans were “carnal, and “act like beasts” he even told some that they were cannibals. It is because of these sorts of misconceptions lead on by “travelers” like Malfante, that Europeans built false understandings of places less traveled, like Africa. It became a known to most people in the 15th century that outside forces rarely conquered the “old states of Africa”. Some writers of the Colonial period c... ... middle of paper ... ...century. In 1730, 180,000 guns from the British, which included flintlocks and muskets, were traded along the West African coast. 1750-1800 British merchants shipped between 283,000 and 394,000 firearms to West Africa. It is estimated that 20 million guns were traded with and sold to African merchants by European merchants. In the early 19th century, England traded and sold 22,000 metric tons of gunpowder every year. The firearm output for the British increased slave trade significantly, as they were able to offer firearms, which were in such high demand by African traders, and in return, the ability to fill vessels and increase output of slaves to the Americas (Lovejoy, 107). Despite the slave trade having a positive effect on the European economy as well as the African economy, the Trans-Atlantic slave trade was executed brutally in treatment of African people.
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