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Atlantic Slave Trade and Christianity - Essay Example

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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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Atlantic Slave Trade and Christianity
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Atlantic Slave Trade and Christianity

Download file to see previous pages... 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)
Figure 1


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
Portugal
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
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 ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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