The Atlantic slave trade has become a way of exploiting human resources especially the minor ones since its beginning. The qualities of the Africans of being hardworking and well-adaptive to a tropical climate made them the best choice for labour in the New World…
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213). After its abolition by the start of the 19th century, slavery materialized in the South as product of the trans-Atlantic trade. Christianity by then was already present because of the European settlers and colonizers in the New World. Issues have been raised pertaining to the legality of slavery in the laws of God compared to the laws of man and the society. From these things, a question emerges: "What is the legacy the Atlantic slave trade brought to the white and black Christians" In order to address this question, this paper gives a background of the Atlantic slave trade including the main places who participated in the triangular trade. It also mentions the role of Christianity in assessing slave-ownership and slave trade in America.
Nathan Nunn (2005) reports the total slave exports from Africa in the year 1410 up to 1913 as shown in Figure 1. The Trans-Atlantic slave trade has the highest African slave exports with a total of 12.7 million slaves. It is followed by the Trans-Saharan trade with approximately 3 million exports. The Red Sea and Indian Ocean trades have 1.3 million and 1.1 million respectively. He also showed the top African countries that have the highest slave exports in the same duration. Nigeria, Zaire and Angola are the three highest slave exporting countries with a total of almost 2 million exported slaves each (12 percent). (Nunn 2005)
The Triangular Trade
An important feature surrounding the trans-Atlantic trade is the triangular trade. In 1450 until the latter part of the 19th century, the African slaves were acquired by the European countries like Portugal from West Africa. The kings and merchants in Africa fully supported the routine because they got different varieties of trade goods like beads, cowrie shells, textiles, brandy, horses and guns. This process describes the first side of the triangular trade. From West Africa, the acquired African slaves were transported to the New World. This represents the middle or the second side of the triangular trade. This part of the trade was the worst for the African slaves because they suffered malnutrition and new diseases en-route to the New World. After reaching the New World, the slaves worked on different plantations. The final products: cotton, sugar, tobacco, molasses, and rum were shipped to Europe. This scheme is the final side of the triangular trade.1
B. Main Actors
In the year 1502, there were reports of the existence of African slaves in the New World or now the Unites States of America. Portugal was regarded in that time as the country that held a monopoly of African slaves for almost 200 years starting from 1440 up to 1640. The Portuguese played a major role in exporting the slaves from Africa during the span of time. For almost four and a half centuries, Portugal had exported an approximate number of 4.5 million African slaves accounting to 40 percent of the overall number.2
Britain also participated in the trans-Atlantic slave trade although later it instituted the banning of slave trade. In the early decades of the 18th century Britain was a key trader who transported 2.5 million out the 6 million
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(“Atlantic Slave Trade and Christianity Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 3750 words”, n.d.)
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(Atlantic Slave Trade and Christianity Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 3750 Words)
“Atlantic Slave Trade and Christianity Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 3750 Words”, n.d. https://studentshare.org/miscellaneous/1527400-atlantic-slave-trade-and-christianity.
In addition, an analysis of different sectors, which go hand in hand with economy, for example, social and political sectors must also be done. This enables an individual to put things into perspective, therefore, further comprehend the intricate details in play that led to the growth of the Atlantic economy.
Atlantic Slave Trade was a trade phenomenon that started during the 16th century. The Portuguese were the pioneers of this trade system. Soon, several European powers followed the techniques and trade routes of the Portuguese.
The conclusion from this study states that the Trans-Atlantic slave trade was characterized by inhuman treatment of African slaves who were captured from parts of West and Central Africa and transported across the Atlantic to the Americas. In the Americas, the slaves worked in plantations and industries the European colonies.
However, they later found this region to be of essence in terms of agriculture especially growing of sugar. This form of cultivation was labor intensive and they had to seek for slaves to do the work (Rawley & Behrendt, 2005, p.18-20). This marked the start of the Atlantic slave trade otherwise known as the triangular slave trade.
Tidal currents have been for centuries limited the trade, but the emergence of new seafaring technologies enhanced traversing of the Atlantic Ocean. According to historian John Thornton, various geographical and technical factors necessitated exploitation of Africans for slaves by Europeans.
The ultimate degradation and dehumanization of slaves singularly characteristic of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade was the reduction of human beings to mere commodities and labor units. The minimum amount of food, clothing, and shelter was given to those slaves who
a, this was shortly before mid of 15 century they instantaneously started grasping Africans and taking them to Europe (Spain and Portugal) to work as slaves. Significant development took place in 16 century when European capitalists recognized that they could make massive
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