ATLANTIC SLAVE TRADE TYLER MARCELLUS 11/26/12 PERIOD 6
THESISWhile the North and South American colonies all treated their slaves in the same manner, abuse and deprivation plentiful, both acquired and used slaves for different purposes, thus effecting the populations of slaves and indigenous peoples. Some groups, such as the Spanish, worked their slaves, both African and indigenous Antilleans, to death searching for gold, whereas the Portuguese and American colonists placed a higher priority on cash crop production. Also, slaves living in the American colonies tended to have a longer lifespan due superior conditions, as compared to those of the Caribbean and Brazil.
AFRICAN CAPTIVESAfrican captives were used for trade in the slave market aslaborers. The captives were usually shackled together andtransported to the slave ship, from which they would be sent offto their final destination.
SLAVERY – KONGOInitially, the Portuguese wished to establish a good relationship Kongorulers and use this relationship to their advantage. Kongolesepopulations decreased during the civil wars of Kongo. The Portuguesetook advantage of Kongos weakness and their relationship at the timeand enslaved many of Kongos citizens. Even with decreasing Kongolesepopulations due to civil war, slave trade peaked with the enslavement ofthe countrys citizens.
SLAVERY – BENINAlong the coast of Benin was the Bight of Benin. Along thisbight, slave exporting was common. The Bight of Benin made upabout 20% of the transatlantic slave trade, and an estimated 2-3million slaves were exported from the coast. The exportedslaves were to the New World, mainly Brazil and the Caribbean.
SLAVERY BY THE PORTUGUESEThe Portuguese established connections with the rulers ofKongo much before the civil wars broke out within the country.The Portuguese used the wars to their advantage and enslavedmany of Kongos people. They used the acquired slaves for laboron the numerous sugar plantations in Brazil.
SLAVERY BY THE SPANISHThe Spanish began by enslaving the indigenous people of theAntilles. The indigenous people died in large numbers due tothe forced searching for gold and other physical labor. They laterimported Africans for use as laborers, mainly for mining in theSpanish underground mines searching for gold.
SLAVERY BY THE NORTH AMERICAN COLONIESThe North American colonies initially used indentured servants forlabor; however, they saw the servants as much too expensive andturned to slave labor. Slave populations in the colonies flourished dueto the sufficient living conditions, in comparison to those conditions ofthe Caribbean and Brazil. The slaves were used mainly for theproduction of tobacco for distribution to the British.
MIDDLE PASSAGEThe middle passage was one of the three legs of triangulartrade. Numerous slaves were sent from Africa to the New Worldduring this first portion of trade.
SLAVE SHIP INTERIORThe interiors of slave ships were specially designed for housingslaves and allowing them to be packed as tightly as possible. Theslaves were chained to their seats to prevent them from escapingduring transport. The interior of the ship appeared more as a cargohull, rather than the interior of a passenger ship.
LIFE ON THE SHIPSlaves were often shackled to their seats or the floor of the slave ship.Due to this restriction of movement, the slaves were unable to movearound the hull or escape from the ship altogether. Also, slaves wereunable to escape from the immense amount of bodily waste and corpses.This greatly increased the mortality rate among the slaves duringtransport. Crew members would check up on the slaves if need be.
TRIANGULAR TRADEIn triangular trade, slaves, raw materials, and manufactured goodswere transported and traded among the Caribbean, West Africa, andEurope and the English colonies. Slaves went from West Africa tothe Caribbean and were used to produce cash crops. These cropswere sent to the English colonies and Europe, in whichmanufactured goods were created and sent to West Africa.
SLAVE AUCTIONSAdvertisements were created prior to auctions in hopes ofattracting buyers. The posters identified the health,classifications of the slaves being sold, and the "quality" ofthem. At the auctions, an auctioneer would sell the slave to thehighest bidder, much like modern day auctions.
INSPECTIONS AND SALESSlaves were inspected prior to being sold. The better conditionthe slave was in, the more that slave would be purchased for.Healthier slaves tended to sell faster than those of lesser health.
North AmericaCaribbean Brazil PLANTATION LIFE – CARIBBEAN, BRAZIL, NORTH AMERICA In comparison, North American plantations were superior to those in the Caribbean and Brazil. Living conditions were superior for the most part, and slaves tended to live longer lives. Due to these greater conditions, the birth rate of slaves was higher than the death rate in American colonies. Caribbean and Brazilian plantations focused mainly on sugar production, as it was the most demanded product in the market. North American plantations centered their production around cotton and tobacco, being as the market for both was high in Britain.
SLAVE BRANDSBranding of slaves was used for identifying the owner in casethe slave escaped. Metal brands with embossed insignias wereheated and pressed into the slaves skin, scarring the mark ofthe owner onto their bodies. This scarring establishedownership of the slave.
SLAVE MUZZLESSlave muzzles, also known as "iron muzzles," were used forcontrolling slaves. Spiked metal pieces protruded into themouth and inflicted pain whenever the tongue moved, thussilencing the slave. Designs varied, but all served the samepurpose.
SLAVE ABUSEJust like the iron muzzle, abuse was used as a form ofpunishment and control. Methods of abuse includedwhipping, use of the iron muzzle, imprisonment, burning, andshackling. The goal of abuse was to weaken the slave, or"motivate" then to continue working.
SLAVE STATISTICSThe chart on the right shows the statistics of slave exportation within Africancountries, most of which came from West Central Africa and the Bight of Benin.Both were prime locations for accessing the Atlantic ocean and the transatlanticslave trade. The chart on the right displays the buyers of the exported slaves, mostgoing to the Spanish American Mainland for use in searching for gold, and theCaribbean for use on sugar plantations. The North American colonies hadnt boughtmany slaves as their superior living conditions made for an efficient work system.