Atlantic Slave Trade: A Globalized System of Inhumanity

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Slavery has been around since the dawn of humanity coming together to form a civilization. It can be found throughout history. In the age of the Roman Empire slaves accumulated to around 30 percent of their total population and consisted of barbarians that couldn’t speak their language (Walter Scheidel 2007). But the most well-known and most recent is the Atlantic Slave trade which differs from all other periods of slavery for four key reasons. The Atlantic slavery trade lasted nearly four centuries; the targeted group was black African men, women, and children (UNESCO 2014). Along with the development of a consumer culture in where luxury resources become necessities, and finally it is believed to be the first system to be globalized, making it an important mark of history. Many of Africans that were brought into slavery were from the western and central part of Africa. These Africans were enslaved by either other western Africans or western Europeans, who were then sold and most commonly shipped off to the newly discovered parts of the world such as the Caribbean, Brazil, and America. Slaves were brought into the Caribbean and Brazil mostly for the sugar industry in which they would plant, harvest and process the sugar ten out of twelve months of the year working days as long as thirty five hours. While in America they were used for housework, skilled trades work and on occasion as sailors but the majority worked as agricultural Laborers for tobacco, sugar, cocoa and cotton plantations. It all began in the 15th Century shortly after Portuguese began to explore the western coast of Africa. When they first started enslavement was in small numbers and they were sold for profit in the European colonies. But then the other European c... ... middle of paper ... ...wouldn’t have ever seen the full potential economic value of the new world and allowed the consumerism that we have developed today in where a luxury resource can be seen as a necessity (Alan Brinkley 1993). In conclusion, we can find that without the cruelty that African men, women, and children have endured for over four centuries, and that without them the potential of the Caribbean, Brazil and America, we would have never been fully realized as sad as a legacy this leaves on history with all the in-humanity and wrong doing that was performed. In addition, that it did in fact create the world today, where we are globally connected in forms of trade allowing us to buy items that are on the other side of the world, for our world to have such luxurious resources at our dispense would have been unthinkable without all the hardship that was endured by those before us.

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that the death rate was higher than the reproduction rate in the caribbean or brazil on the sugar plantations, causing a constant need for more slaves.
  • Explains that the slave ships were not that large and could only carry 400 slaves at a time.
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