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The Atlantic Slave Trade - Essay Example

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Author Tutor Course Date Origin and Development of Atlantic Trade Atlantic slave trade refers to the trade which took place between 16th and 19th centuries across the Atlantic Ocean. The trade originated after the establishment of trade contracts between old world and new world continents…
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Download file to see previous pages Such factors acted as drive towards exploitation of profitable commercial opportunities outside Europe and the desire of creating alternative trade network to the one under control of Muslim Empire in Middle East, and appeared as a threat to European Christendom. The traders from Europe wanted gold for trade in exchange for luxury goods like spices without the compulsion of obtaining such items from Middle East (Carson et. al 1-9). Initially, though the Europeans took part in Atlantic trade, other nationalities took part. These include the Italian kingdoms, Iberian kingdoms, Netherland, France and England. Such diversity enhances the initial exploration of Atlantic trade as an international exercise. The African countries that took part in transatlantic trade include Gambia, Nigeria, Mozambique, Ghana, Angola and Benin. The Caribbean and Latin America countries include Brazil, Cuba, Barbados, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Trinidad, Tobago and Jamaica. The North America and European countries include Netherland, France, Portugal, United Kingdom, Spain, Denmark, United States of America and Norway (Carson et. al 1-9). The significance of 1492 in relation to the slave trade entailed various events. First, period of Portuguese capture of slave started in 1941 in Morocco and ended in 1492 after discovery of America. The beginning of 1492 witnessed over ten million slaves introduced to New World. This was after famous voyage of Columbus in 1492 that led to adoption of slavery by Spaniards (Carson et. al 1-9). The choice of Africans resulted since Native Americans proved unsuitable for hard labor. They sought slaves to supply labor, and they believed Africans were strong and could withstand harsh conditions. The period after 1660 had the slaves considered inferior to the whites, and the slavery institution appeared first in statute books of the Jamestown. This made historians perceive slave or Negro similar to white indentured servant, making them live together in same conditions. Black African laborers appeared more efficient and valuable for working in the fields than their white indentured counterparts. Africans were resistant to the hot and arid climate and were thus well adapted to those conditions. African slaves remained slaves for life, but the indentured servants were only slaves for a certain period (Carson et. al 1-9). Slaves were not Christians, hence separated from indentured servants who believed in God. Furthermore, people perceived slaves as dumb, ignorant and lazy as they never understood the dialect of the white man. The Englishmen felt superior, and they considered Africans as Negroes and property of the Englishman. Justification for Enslavement of Africans The governments from the countries that took part in the slave trade used ethical reasons to authorize slave trade. They adopted an ideology to justify their forceful enslavement of Africans. Such justification ensured consistency and unity. They believed that slaves were incapable of ruling themselves and needed governance by others, especially the Europeans. This made Europeans appalled after realizing that Africans could be independent. They justified this disgust by claims of African being uncivilized and barbaric. The Europeans exploited this savage stereotype in their justification of enslaving Africans on a religious pretext using the name of God. Basis of such a justification was unsound owing to the complexity of civilization and government system in Africa, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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