African slave trade


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  • Slavery was a normal part of Africa’s history dating back before the Pharaohs of Egypt. Remember Moses leading the Jews out of slavery?
    Slavery was a natural part of African society
    In West Africa, the system of slavery resembled European feudalism
    Slaves were used to increase production and population of a region = more power
    Seen more as a resource, rather than a trade commodity
    Generally, slaves were well treated
    While low in hierarchy, active contributor to kingdom or community
    Some held high positions with significant responsibility
    Accepted by and lived with non-slaves in family settings
  • Portugal began exploring and trading along the African coast hundreds of years before Columbus sailed to the Americas.
  • Picture: Cape Coast Castle, W. Africa
  • Recognition Network: Use of color and bold text to emphasis main ideas.
  • “Africans became enslaved mainly through four ways:
    first, criminals sold by the chiefs as punishment;
    secondly, free Africans obtained from raids by African and a few European gangs;
    thirdly, domestic slaves resold, and
    fourthly; prisoners of war."
    (Adu Boahen (University of Ghana).
  • Illustrations use to show the Brutality of chaining Africans together and marching them to the slave holding cells on the coast—Affective b/c it seeks to evoke an emotional response within students.
  • This was a slave holding fort.
  • Africans on the West Coast because the destination of the slaves was in the West. Had the European powers built colonies in Asia or Australia that needed slave labor, the slaves would have come from the East Coast region.
  • Triangular Trade
    The triangular trade demonstrates how people were reduced to commodities to be sold. Goods such as metal, cloth, beads and guns went from Britain to Africa, enslaved Africans went to America and the Caribbean, and raw products such as sugar, tobacco and cotton came back to Britain.
    Show the picture of the sugar nippers.
            One of the reasons the trade lasted for so long was because it was incredibly profitable. The British appeared to have an insatiable appetite for luxury goods from the Caribbean, especially sugar and this demand fuelled supply.
            Before the twentieth century, sugar came in cones from which chunks would be nipped off and used to sweeten the bitter taste of coffee, chocolate and tea. What people consumed in one part of the world altered forever the lives of those from other parts of the world.
  • Brazilians still speak Portuguese not Spanish.
  • With the arrival of the Europeans the demand for slaves in the Americas increased significantly.
    As disease reduced the native populations in Spanish conquered territories, the Spanish began relying on imported slaves from Africa.
  • The British colonies in North America received only 4% of the total slaves from Africa. Brazil and the West Indies- received about 80% combined.
  • Why is the population of African Americans higher in the US than it is these other places?
  • European products (cloth, firearms) were sent to the coast of Africa for slaves
    Slaves were carried to the Americas (Middle Passage)
    Sugar, Tobacco, and other goods were than carried to Europe
    European products (cloth, firearms) were sent to the coast of Africa for slaves to begin the triangle trade again
  • Slaves were taken from the holding forts,  Chained together in pairs with leg-irons and carried to the ships. Once aboard they were branded with a red-hot iron, like cattle, to show who owned them and their clothes removed.
  • Chained in darkness and filth, seasickness and disease were rife. The heat in the hold could be over 30°c and the slaves would have no access to toilets or washing facilities. So foul was the smell of slave ships that other vessels took care to steer well away from them. In such conditions disease spread, and many slaves died.   
  • Many slave captains were notorious for their cruelty. The actual voyage could take from 6 weeks to three months. It has been estimated that between 9-11 million people were taken from Africa by European traders and landed alive on the other side of the Atlantic. But 1½ million Africans are buried in the Atlantic Ocean between Africa and the Americas. It was reported that schools of sharks would follow the ships waiting for their next meal.
  • Chained in darkness and filth, seasickness and disease were rife. The heat in the hold could be over 30°c and the slaves would have no access to toilets or washing facilities. So foul was the smell of slave ships that other vessels took care to steer well away from them. In such conditions disease spread, and many slaves died.  
  • The slave owners wanted big men that could work hard. The ship captains kept bringing them what they wanted. What effect did this have on African Society, culture, and economy?
  • Wall street gets its name from the fact that it was here where slaves were put on the block to be sold. Neighboring businesses did not approve of the slave trade convinced the city to build a wall around the street so passerby's would not have to witness what was happening.
  • African slave trade

    1. 1. Slavery in Africa
    2. 2. European - African Pre-Slavery Trade
    3. 3. European Background • Portuguese started African slave trade in 1441 • First Africans in Hispanola in 1505 • 1450-1850 ~12 million Africans sent to Americas
    4. 4. Why Africans? • No written language , many languages • Native Americans dying off • Some degree of disease resistance • No muskets and gunpowder • Africans participated in trade by enslaving others, selling debtors and criminals, and kidnapping • Skilled workers – Knew how to extract precious ore from mines – Familiar with soils and crops
    5. 5. How to Get Slaves? • TRADE! – Africans traded slaves for manufactured goods like clothe, silk, guns, pots, and copper • African Kingdoms (Ashanti) gained wealth and power from the trade – States sold POW (method of deportation) – Participated to defend themselves • African “entrepreneurs” Middle
    6. 6. Capture • The original capture of slaves was almost always violent. • As European demand grew, African chieftains organized raiding parties to seize individuals from neighboring societies. • Others launched wars specifically for the purpose of capturing slaves.
    7. 7. • What does this picture tell you? – Europeans did not penetrate the African interior March to the Coast
    8. 8. Slave Trade in the Congo
    9. 9. Cape Coast Castle, W. Africa
    10. 10. What role did geography play in the Triangle of Trade?
    11. 11. Portuguese Slave Trade • The Portuguese population was too small to provide a large number of colonists. • The sugar plantations required a large labor force. • Slaves filled Europeans and Africans Meet to Trade
    12. 12. Slave Trade and Sugar • Portuguese crop growers extended the use of slave labor to South America. • Because of this, Brazil would eventually become the wealthiest of the sugar-
    13. 13. European Slave Trade
    14. 14. Plantations • After crossing the Atlantic, most African slaves went to plantations in the tropical or subtropical regions of the western hemisphere. • The first was established by the Spanish on Hispaniola in 1516. • Originally the predominant crop was sugar. In addition to sugar, plantations produced crops like tobacco, indigo, and cotton. • In the 1530s Portuguese began organizing plantations in Brazil,
    15. 15. Plantations • All were designed to export commercial crops for profit. • Relied almost exclusively on large amounts of slave labor supervised by small numbers of Brazilian sugar mill in the 1830s
    16. 16. As the major European powers of Portugal, Britain, France, and the Netherlands looked for ways to exploit the fertile lands of the New World, they looked to Africa for a steady supply of labor. Soon, African slaves had become absolutely vital to the cultivation of sugar, tobacco, cotton, and rice plantations. As European demand for sugar began to increase, plantations began to spring up throughout Brazil and the Caribbean. Sugar cultivation created a huge demand for slave labor
    17. 17. Justification • Slavery made development of the New World profitable • Native American slaves died of diseases, escaped easily • African tribes needed weapons and supplies from Europe
    18. 18. Slavery Expands • In 1518, the first shipment of slaves went directly from West Africa to the Caribbean where the slaves worked on sugar plantations. • By the 1520s, the Spanish had introduced slaves to Mexico, Peru, and Central America where they worked as farmers and miners. • By the early 17th century, the
    19. 19. “Black” Gold for Sale!
    20. 20. Triangular Trade
    21. 21. Exportation • Trip called the Middle Passage • 5000 miles, 3 wks. to 3 mos. • 20-25% died • Strip Africans’ self respect and self identity
    22. 22. The Middle Passage Unimaginable Suffering
    23. 23. Slave Master Brands
    24. 24. The Middle Passage
    25. 25. The Middle Passage
    26. 26. Correcting Misconceptions Africans sold their brothers and sisters into slavery There was no one African identity Africa is a BIG place—many different ethnic groups
    27. 27. Inspection and Sale
    28. 28. First Slave Auction New Amsterdam (Dutch New York City - 17c)
    29. 29. Europeans began the Atlantic slave trade in the 1500s. Their colonies in the Americas needed labor to work on large plantations. European traders sold enslaved Africans to colonists. Families were split up, and many people died. By the time the slave trade ended in IMPACT ON WEST AFRICA
    30. 30. Impact of Slave Trade on the America ltural Diffusion – --The slave trade spread ideas and goods between cultures (cultural diffusion). --Europeans brought new weapons to Africa. --Africans brought part of their culture (like mu food, traditions, Language) to the Americas.
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