Slave Trade

18/07/2007 07:29:00

Atlantic System • Atlantic History o Destination of most European settlers  Most of the immigration was across the Atlantic o The sight of production for most of the important commodities  Sugar, tobacco and such o Manufactured goods go across the Atlantic • Overview o Iberian trading colonies (Spain and Portugal)  Very much alive and well into the 18th century  The Spanish was still receiving tons of silver every year  The Portuguese start to turn to the western side of the Atlantic o Dutch trading colonies  Very active in Atlantic colonization  Traded furs with the Iroquois  Coveted the riches of the Iberian empires  They take over St. Eustatius, Curacao, Aruba, St. martin from the Portuguese  They were really interest in shipping  They were able to make considerable money by providing a transport for the other nations  Universal carrier o France’s fur-trading empire  The French were primarily explorers of Canada  The first colony they founded new France  Contemporary Québec 1608  They were after beaver skins for hats

They wanted to keep the Indian system because they use to buy the skins from them. They did not have to get the skins themselves  Many French married with natives and the Métis population grows o England’s landed empire  Relations with the natives was much different than the French  Many different colonies  All English settlers shared a hunger for lands and they took it from the native populations  They built fences to marked their lands  On the lands they wanted to create profit and start growing tobacco and other cash crops  By 1700 there are 250k people in north America and 33k in their Caribbean colonies  Bermuda, Bahamas, St. Kitts, Barbados, Nevis, Montserrat, Antigua, Jamaica) o The New World plantation complex  The Portuguese start making plantations in brazil with slaves as their primary workers The Atlantic Slave Trade • Definition of a slave o A human being that is traded or sold as a commodity • The slave trade was perpetrated by many European nations and African nations • Slavery was standard before, it did not come out of nowhere • Slavery was widespread in Africa and was the only form of private property that produced revenue • Slaves became the most important form of making money in Africa • Because of the slave trade in Africa there is already a slave market and Europeans just tap into it o The Atlantic slavery was just an outward growth of the internal African slavery o They transform the scale of the slave trade and the form of slavery 

The Portuguese control the slave trade at first o The Portuguese set up factories Slave trading posts. The factor was the resident merchant trading the slaves o The Portuguese try to capture slaves at first, but could not do so, and they then tapped into the current African slave market for their slaves o The factories were set up in Africa with the permission of the African rulers Overview o 1440 – 1867 12 million slaves made it across the Atlantic  mortality rate was about 10%-20% o more Africans than Europeans traveled across the Atlantic  for every 2 Africans 1 European came across the Atlantic o Atlantic slavery  Most of them were adult male  1/3 women and 10% children  the high mortality rate and the gender ratio made it difficult to grow the slave population through children in the Americas  unlocking the economic potential of the Americas for the Europeans o David Eltis, et al, The Trans Atlantic Slave Trade, 1527 – 1867: A Database on CD Rom  Thousands of records for slave shipping  Slave owners, shipping dates, number of slaves, characteristic of ships, destinations o Multinational enterprise and that Africans were also involved The British o Most productive slavers in the Atlantic ever o Luso-Dutch rivalry  Portuguese / Dutch  In 1637 the Dutch cease lands from the Portuguese in the Caribbean  They also ceased brazil briefly 

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Once the Portuguese took over brazil again they convince English planters to cultivate sugar • The Dutch made their money in the shipping  This created a shift from tobacco to sugar for many Caribbean nations Now that the English are heavily into sugar they need more and more slaves In 1670’s the English were transporting more slaves than the Dutch and Portuguese In 1807 is when the English stop trading slaves, however, the English alone transferred about 3.4 million slaves  More than the Portuguese and Dutch combined Company of Royal Adventures (1663)  They gave the company an exclusive right to trade slaves for 1,000 years  They soon encountered financial problems and closed down Royal African Company (1672)  They were interlopers, pirates so the monopoly was hard to make it enforceable  The company could not provide enough slaves and the competition made it difficult to stay alive  In 1698 the company loses its monopoly rights  At that point the British government opens the slave trade to anybody  Expansionary phases  1650-1683  1708-1725 • supplying not only slaves for their own colonies but for also other nations • they gained slave trade contract from the Spanish government • tobacco, sugar, rice, all depend in slaves  1746 – 1771 • height: 1763 – 1793 

after the 7 years wars the British empire was the most powerful European power and slave trade was a key in their growth. Captivity and the Middle Passage o The journey slaves had to make from Africa o Slaves moved a lot within Africa, and then they moved a lot within the colonies where they landed o Once they got to the coast of Africa they cleaned them and made them look at best as possible for the buyers o 2 to 3 sq. ft. per person on the ships o no circulation of air in some holds o the journeys were at least 5 weeks o over 10% died at sea, high mortality rate o the loading of the slaves took longer than the middle passage

18/07/2007 07:29:00

18/07/2007 07:29:00