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Resistance and Opposition
From the first slaves came resistance and rebellion in hopes of gaining freedom or simply to make the life of their owners miserable. The African people first began to rebel in their homeland. A number of attempts were made in Africa to either stop the trade or cut it down significantly.’ More attempts were made with the passing or laws preventing slave traders from trading in their village keeping that village safe. Many villages would fight against traders to keep trading from happening but they soon realized that the best way to keep the traders out was to put into effect long-term approaches.
‘Earthworks were built to thwart small-scale raids and kidnappings, some rivers were diverted so that they would not bring ships near settlements.’ Africans began to build walls around their towns and fortresses and ramparts also rose up. Deep ditches planted with venomous and thorny trees and bushes were also quite common along with placing poisonous animals inside the trenches. Some villages relocated to hard to find places that were easy to defend such as mountains, caves, underground, and even in the middle of lakes on houses built on stilts. These villages began to adopt ‘the most brutal tactics: they indiscriminately killed anyone who ventured close to their territory so as to discourage any incursion.’
Those that were unlucky enough to still be captured, even after all the resistance, were taken to the coast where they would board the slavers. ‘It is estimated that 100,000 Africans died in uprising on the coast or during the Middle Passage.’ Revolts were much more difficult to organize once on the slavers though there were over four hundred of them that occurred. Uprisings were common on board slavers...

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International Slavery Museum. “The Trade Triangle.” National Museums Liverpool. http://www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/ism/slavery/triangle.aspx. The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. “The Abolition of the Slave Trade: Armed
Struggle in Africa and in the Middle Passage.” The New York Public Library. http://abolition.nypl.org/essays/african_resistance/.

The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. “The Abolition of the Slave
Trade: Defensive Strategies.” The New York Public Library. http://abolition.nypl.org/essays/african_resistance/.

“The Triangular Slave Trade.” BBC website. http://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/ks3/history/industrial_era/the_slave_trade/revision/1/.

Warnock, Amanda, and Toyin Falola. Encyclopedia of the Middle Passage. Westport:
Greenwood Press, 2007. eBook Collection, EBSCOhost.
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