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Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade - Assignment Example

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In the paper “Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade” the author focuses on one of the most popular examples of human trafficking. It involves the trade of African people to the colonies of the New World that happened around the Atlantic Ocean wherein the slaves were obtained from coastal trading…
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Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade
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The triangle of trade consisted of three journeys: the outward passage from Europe to Africa with the manufactured goods, the middle passage from Africa to the Americas or the Caribbean’s which carried African captives and commodities and lastly, the homeward passage which carried goods back to Europe (National Maritime Museum).
The slave trade made the bulk of the labor force of the New World. They comprise of the bulk of workers in the sugar plantation which is the most labor-intensive crop, while some also work in harvesting coffee, cotton and tobacco and some also helped in mining (Wikimedia Foundations Inc.). The cheap labor has been Europe’s power, shipping around 6000-8000 African slaves every year (National Museums Liverpool).
The trafficking of Africans has been the business of the rich and powerful where both the monarchy and the church have benefitted much so that it comprised 80% of the total British trade, helping in the development of banking and insurance, shipbuilding and several manufacturing industries (Adi).
Eric Williams, the showed that the profit from the trafficking has financed England’s industrialization process, that it has become a very essential element to the Industrial Revolution and has brought much wealth to Europe (Wikimedia Foundations Inc.).
On the other hand, the slave trade is blamed to have brought much devastation to the African country, particularly causing heavy debt burden, internal conflicts, and poverty (Dogbevi).
The Abolition of the Slave Trade
There has been much speculation as to the abolition of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade. Humanitarian reasons were cited such as morality and religion. The humanitarian reason is largely a work of William Wilberforce, who was a British politician and philanthropist who led the movement to abolish the slave trade, however, the economic reasons for abolition cannot be discarded.
Many believe that the slave trade was abolished mainly for economic reasons such as argued by Eric Williams. The simple reason was slavery as a form of labor has become unviable (www.individuality1977.blogspot.com). It simply becomes impractical for Europe to maintain the status quo.
There have been rebellions on the part of the slaves and it has created fears to the planters who later agreed to free the slaves rather than to continue with the fear of possible attacks. The actions of the people, especially the slaves themselves have made enslavement and trafficking inefficient, unprofitable and dangerous (Adi).
Some have also reasoned that trafficking of Africans to Britain was no longer important and has been a deterrent to some important and advantageous economic links as some of the Carribean planters themselves were in favor of the abolition as “this worked against the interest of some of their commercial rivals” including the foreigners (Adi).
After the abolition of the slave trade in Britain, it has become uncompetitive to other countries, forcing it to press for the slave trade abolition of other nations (Wikimedia Foundations Inc.).
In the South and North America, various reasons also contributed to the decline of the slave trade. Both territories have also become so dependent on human trafficking and have created huge money from the trade of slaves, however, at a later time, there was not much economic need to employ slave labor in the new factories in the North, leading to their abolition (antebellum slavery economics). This event has strengthened its stand against the slave trade. Read More
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