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Richard Flaumenbaum

Oct 5 , 2014

Primary Source Essay: Business of Slave Trade

The Atlantic slave trade took dominance between the 16 and 19th century. An estimates
12.5 million people were shipped from African societies, across the atlantic and some 10.7
million were deposited in the Americas. While countless others perished in the process of capture
and transport to the African coast, about 14.4% (1.8 million) died during the transatlantic
crossing, while countless others perished in the process of capture and transport to the African
coast. Based on these factors alone plus other additional factors, document/source 14.2 (from
the journal of an English merchant, Tom Phillips) is an essential piece of history that describes to
us the difficulties and struggles merchants, kings and other members involved in the slave trade
business must go through in order to complete a successful trade and so that everyone is happy
with it and feels as if they have made a good deal. Without it we may not have understood the
concept of fair trade and democracy/capitalism.
The document demonstrates how the king yields the highest amount of power therefor
can make the most money and selects who else gets the most money or who gets deals or if the
deals will be good for that matter anyways. The King sets many tariffs to ensure that he is getting
the better end of the deal in exchange for allowing people into his country to exchange slaves.
Slaves can be traded for resources, other slaves etc. Many European and African merchants
conducted business together during the slave trade witch increased international bonds. The King
will usually set a agreement on prices depending on the cargo the merchants bring with them
such as what goods they have and what quantity of slaves they wanted. Prices are categorized

into cost of Man, woman and child. There are often many distractions or disagreements during
trade when there are more then one ship, which creates animosities and a number of people
trying to outbid each other which results in the enhancement of prices to their general loss and
detriment. It was found that the blacks were prone to taking advantage of such opportunities and
create a business from it, and endeavour to create and foment misunderstanding and jealousies
between commanders, it turing to their great account in the disposal of their slaves. The Kings
slaves were always the first to offer for sale and the most expensive, but generally the worst
slaves in the trunk. Being one of the majestys prerogative, the merchants must not refuse them.

The widespread of human exchange and the owning of human beings has been around
since some of the earliest civilizations, slavery was treated as and ordinary act of commerce. The
harsh acts of cruelty during this time were countless number of individual tradegie such as;
capture and sale, displacement from home cultures, forced labor, beating, the breakage of
families, bradings and linked closely to battle and capture. The human exchange trade disrupted
some socitities but at the same time strengthened others and corrupted many. Of course, while
the slaves being the victims, the Elites sit back and profit from the slave trade and are enriched
by this. The profits from the slave trade and the forced labor of African slaves certainly enriched
European and Euro-American societies, even as the practice of slavery contributed much to the
racial stereotypes of European peoples. Then the cappasheirs each brought out his slaves
according to his degree and quality, the greatest first etc, and our surgeon examined them well in
all kinds, to see that they were sound wind and limb, making them jump, stretch out their arms
swiftly, looking in their mouths to judge of their age, for the cappasheirs are so cunning, that they
shave them all close before we see them, so that let them e never so old we can see no grey hair

in their heads or beards; and then having liquord them well and sleek with palm oil, tis no easy
matter to know an old one from a middle - age one. When we had selected from the rest such as
we liked, we agreed in what goods to pay for them, the prices being already stated before the
king, how much of each fort of merchandize we were going to give for a man, woman and child,
which gave us much ease and saved abundance despots and wranglings Then they markd the
slaves they had bought in the breast, or shoulder, with a hot iron, having the letter or the ships
name on it, the place being before anointed with a little palm oil, which causd but little pain, the
mark being usually well in four or five days appearing very plain and white after Finally
slavery developed a negative reputation and became a type of metaphor for many kinds of social
oppression. Colonized groups of people had decided to reject the slavery of imperial
domination, the slavery of wage labor, and feminists would sometimes define patriarchy as a
form of slavery.

The Atlantic slave trade and slavery in the Americas yield the title for most recent largescale operation of a very widespread human practice, that of course being the owning and
transaction of human beings or slave trade/slavery. The slave trade connected a substantially
large amount of African presence to the mix of European and Native American people in the
Americas and what is now known as the United States. The spread of African people throughout
the globe also know as the African diaspora injected into these new societies issues of race that
endure still in the twenty first century. It also introduced elements of African culture, such as
religious ideas, musical and artistic traditions, and cuisine, into the making of American
cultures. Meaning that the widespread of the African people and people from the African culture

were dispersed into the Americas, Europe and more due to the exchange of slavery and is why
today there are decedents of these Africans inhabited in the Americas, Europe and all across the
globe. If it were not for the slave trade it would be most likely be that most Africans would still
be inhabited in Africa. That all being said the slave trade really was a terror beyond imagination,
but for kings and merchants it was strictly business, both European and African. Document 14.2
shows how those transactions were conducted. It really describes the conditions in debt that the
slaves were facing and that the business of slave exchange wasnt always pleasant for the
merchants, or the slaves.

It is important to understand the history of slave trade and to really know in detail what
these people were going through at the time and what it was like. It is important to understand
why it was done, for what and what effect that it had on people. If it were not for the Atlantic
slave trade, there would most likely be a far less population of African people inhabited in the
Americas and Europe. Document 14.2 proves itself to add essential knowledge of the history of
slave exchange and the Atlantic slave trade. It provides us with knowledge of how business was
conducted and why. It describes to us the struggles that not just the slaves were faced with, but
the merchants too. Because business is never easy and even though were the ones pretty much
enduring torture, it shows that the business of slave trade isnt always pleasant, for either side
because the merchants arent always making much money. The document describes the
procedures it would require to enter a kingdom, purchase slaves and have a successful
transaction while everyone remains satisfied. Without this piece of information, the very
important details of conducting a slave trade would still be unknown or known in much less

detail. This document is essential in discovering how the African Diaspora happened and what
was the motivation behind it.