Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade

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Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade

Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade


According to different scholarly sources, the transatlantic trade of the slaves was considered as a remedy to the shortage of labor. The Europeans used the indigenous people as slaves and due to overwork they were suffering different diseases. Later the African slaves were easily available at affordable prices. For unrestrained growth plantation, cropping and processing huge quantity of the workforce were needed. And the African slaves were used for meeting that demand. In British studies, it is designated “West-Central Africa,” to distinguish it from colonial British Central Africa (now Zambia, Malawi, and Zimbabwe). The low-population densities of the forests to the north of this region separated it as an integrated set of demographic and economic units from “western Africa” (Cameroon to the west and north); beyond the Kunene to the south lay the virtually uninhabited Namib Desert.

The African region economically integrated into the commercial economy of the Atlantic, expanded from 120 miles inland from the coast or less at the dawn of slaving in the early sixteenth century to the very center of the continent, as much as 900 miles inland, by the decline of exports in the 1860s. Central Africa contributed nearly half of the more than 12 million or so captives sent across the Atlantic from all parts of Africa. From the principal source of the sixteenth century's relatively small numbers of slaves, Central Africa's contribution declined toward one-third as African exports surged at the end of the seventeenth century, and then rose again, becoming the principal region of origin for captives sent to the Americas after 1800 about 45 percent overall. These captives came from populations less numerous than those on which the slave-trading networks in western Africa preyed. Most of them had lived along the margins of the humid forest and from the grassland savannas, in a band which ran east from the mouth of the region's greatest river, the Congo (Zaire).


Portuguese ships first felt their way south along the Western Central African coast during the 1480s, but they turned to loading slaves only gradually, over the following century (Thomas, 2000). The system of slavery developed in the Atlantic world also known as the Atlantic slave trade. It took place between the 1700s and 1900s centuries across the Atlantic ocean. The majority of the slaves belonged to the western and central regions. The slaves were sold to the higher bidder, and then these African slaves were treated according to the will of their masters (Thomas, 2000).

The Era of Slavery

The large-scale slave trade in the south of the Zaire River grew between the 1570s and the 1620s from these roots, with annual exports probably ranging between five and ten thousand individuals. This enormous growth started from a severe drought that engulfed the Kwanza Valley region in violent conflict during the 1570s. A royally sponsored expedition from Portugal arrived to challenge the São Tomé planters for control of the region. The metropolitan troops sought mythical “mountains of silver” but turned to ...
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