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African Slave Trade

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African Slave Trade

  1. 1. The Atlantic Slave Trade
  2. 2. History of African Slavery 2
  3. 3. 3 The Atlantic Slave Trade When? •1450 - Spanish & Portuguese start slaving in Africa •1865 - still smuggling slaves until the end of the civil war (technically illegal in 1808)
  4. 4. 4 The Atlantic Slave Trade Why? •Labor shortage (not enough workers) •Diseases killed off natives •Ethnocentrism –(feelings of superiority) •Greed/Wealth •NOT b/c of what was once believed to just have been better field workers •NOT motivated by prejudice
  5. 5. Slaves were needed for… • Growing: • Sugar • Tobacco • Coffee • Cacao (chocolate) 5
  6. 6. 6 The Atlantic Slave Trade Where to? 5% 60% 35% Where from? 65% 30% 5%
  7. 7. 7 Number of people enslaved •30 million taken from their homes •10 million die during capture phase •10 million die during middle •p1a0s smagilelion survive to make it over the ocean
  8. 8. 8 Phases of the Slave Trade Capture: •Most captured 50-100 miles inland •Tribes often did not have a choice in helping capture neighbors “divide and conquer”
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  10. 10. Capturing Slaves 10
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  14. 14. 14 Phases of the Slave Trade West African expectations about slavery: •Slaves were not slaves for life •A slave’s child would not be a slave
  15. 15. 15 Phases of the Slave Trade Capture: Christiansborg Castle, Gold Coast, ca. 1750 Cape Coast Castle, Gold Coast, 1727 Slaves brought to “trading castles”
  16. 16. 16 Phases of the Slave Trade 2. The Middle Passage •Journey over the Atlantic Ocean •400-500 people in a boat with little air & much disease
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  25. 25. Middle Passage 25
  26. 26. 26 Phases of the Slave Trade 2. The Middle Passage - Tight Pack •Higher mortality, higher profits
  27. 27. 27 Phases of the Slave Trade 2. The Middle Passage - Loose pack •Lower mortality, lower profits
  28. 28. Life on the Slave Ship •Branded to establish ownership •Meals: boiled corn meal and beans, pint (half liter) of water with each meal •Slaves were made to “jump and dance” for an hour or two to keep them fit •Death was common among slaves in ship 28
  29. 29. 29 Phases of the Slave Trade 3. “Seasoning” - •Brutal work camps, 4-5 months in Caribbean •Meant to train people to be slaves
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  31. 31. Slave Auction 31
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  36. 36. 36 Thinking Question: Given how many people died during the “Capture phase” or on the “Middle passage,” what do you think went on in the minds of the slave catchers and slave traders?
  37. 37. 37 Triangle Trade North America Molasses Rum, weapons The Carribean Africa Slaves
  38. 38. 38 Growth of Slavery Why Africans? •Americas are desperate for labor •Harder for Africans to run away than Native Americans •African strengths - agricultural practices, resistance to diseases
  39. 39. 39 Growth of Slavery How did African slaves fight back? •Open revolt (rare) •Work slowdowns •Breaking Tools •Poisoning food
  40. 40. 40 Thinking Question: While many slaves resisted, not all of them did. What did they have to lose?
  41. 41. 41 Growth of Slavery How much did it grow? •1800 - 1 million in slavery •1860 - 4 million (1/3 of Southern population)
  42. 42. 42 Growth of Slavery Why? Cotton Gin •Invented 1793 - made slavery VERY productive •100x faster than by hand •More efficient = more $ (so need more slaves)
  43. 43. Death/ Punishments •Greatest killer was disease among slaves •Deaths outnumbered births •Life expectancy: 23 (males)/25.5 (females) •Harsh conditions •Whippings/Beatings •Owners devised ways to shame slaves into obedience (metal face masks, “iron muzzle”) 43
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  49. 49. Slave Jobs •“Great gang”= strongest slaves in the prime of their lie, did the heaviest work •“Grass gang”= children under the supervision of elderly slaves •“Driver”= privileged male slave who made sure the gang got their work completed •Nursing mothers brought their babies to fields •Slaves ships brought twice as many males and females 49
  50. 50. Freedom • Manumission= legal grant of freedom by an owner • More common in Brazil, Spanish and French territory than in English territories • Not uncommon for slave owner who fathered a child by a female slave to give mother and child their freedom • Legal condition followed that of the mother, slave families often struggled to free women in childbearing years first so that the children would be born free 50

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