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Discussion - Admission/Application Essay Example

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Slave trade can be traced in the seventeenth century. England was the first country to practice slave trade though, other states such as Russia and North America also started at a similar time…
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Question Why the Trans-Atlantic Slavery was based on Pre-existing Slavery Slave trade is argued to have existed in Africa before the Trans-Atlantic trade. Slave trade can be traced in the seventeenth century. England was the first country to practice slave trade though, other states such as Russia and North America also started at a similar time. Slaves worked in households and plantations. The economic development in England, in during the 17th century was attributed to slave trade (Inikori 40).
Scholars have argued that using the word “slave” is not appropriate when referring to the slaves in Africa. However, the names were dependent on the country of origin of the slave. According to Inikori the slaves on the African continent were called serfs (40). They worked in estates owned by the elite. Just like the slaves in England, they had no freedom of association, as it was imposed by the law (Curtin 6). In countries like Egypt, though with African rulers, the pharaoh also had slaves. This is the evidence pointing to the fact that slave trade in Egypt was in existence long before the Trans-Atlantic trade. The pharaoh even justified that the practice was allowed by Egyptian gods. Slaves in Africa during this time served their masters in their households and farms.
In most cases the people captured during wars were used as slaves by the captors. Similar to the Trans-Atlantic they had minimal rights. In gold coast the rulers engaged in warfare to expand their territories and acquire slaves for export. The slave trade in the gold coast was entirely handled by Africans themselves and not whites. Among tribes in West Africa, rulers sold slaves to both the Muslim traders and the European markets (Curtin 13). They also used slaves to carry out their household duties and to carry goods while travelling.
The slaves in Africa were not only captives from war but also those who were punished for committing crimes. If for example, someone killed a child, he or she was forced to work as a slave in another village as a form of punishment. People who disowned their communities were viewed as outcasts. People who were not related by blood or marriage to the clans were also used as slaves.
The difference between African slavery and that practiced during the Trans-Atlantic trade was that the Trans-Atlantic trade was prevalent. In Africa, slaves could not be differentiated with the rest of the community. They were well fed and clothed. They could complain of being mistreated to the elders or refuse to be sold to a master they did not want. On the other hand, slaves in the Trans-Atlantic trade were mistreated by traders. Women were in some cases raped and killed. Slaves would be sold to anyone and their opinion did not count. When travelling, if one of the slaves became ill, their masters would opt to kill, instead of giving medical assistance.
In conclusion, there is no doubt that there was slavery before the Trans-Atlantic trade. Among African tribes, slaves were allowed to marry. Before the trade, African servants were highly valued by their masters and were viewed as human beings (Inikori 50). Human life was greatly valued in the African society even if the person was a slave. It is therefore evident that, slavery was not a new phenomenon to the Africans and it was pre-existing before the Trans-Atlantic trade.
Works Cited
Curtin, Philips. The African Diaspora. Waterloo: Berghahn Books, 1979.
Inikori, Joseph. Slavery in Africa and the Transatlantic Slave Trade. Arlington: Texas A&m University Press, 1996. Read More
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