Last year the History teach taught a lesson on the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, in which she outlined the entire ordeal of the slaves , starting with the preparations made in Europe and Africa, how the Africans became slaves, the march to the coast, activities at the coast, the middle passage and sale of the slaves in the West Indies. Being of West African descent the writer became intrigued and decided to do a research project, exploring the slave trade. The writer believes that the Preparations made in Europe, Preparations made in Africa, Activities at the Coast, the Middle Passage and the sale in Caribbean were all done to ensure the European traders made maximum profits. Having completed this project, the writer to have found more clarity on the organization of trade and why it was organized that way. The writer hopes to provide valuable information for other history students in a concise document.
“The Slave trade was organized to maximize profits for the European Traders. To what extent is this statement true?” In 1640 tobacco was replaced by sugar as the main cash crop. The change from small-scale to large-scale agriculture in the West Indies, led to the change in recruiting labour. The slave trade refers to the historic trade within Africa with mainly black men, which included systems of servitude and slavery and the European traders involved also are the European people who acquired the slaves in order to make a profit from them .Therefore, the writer is interested in all of the evidence and documentation that would clearly support this topic that the European Traders did everything in their ability to maximize their profit. It is the writer’s intention to pursue a collection of primary sources in an effort to gather information for this project. After collecting the data, the project presented will be processed through pictures and discussions.
Preparations in Europe
In order for the European Traders to even get a glimpse of receiving profits, they must first acquire the slaves that would make their dream of wealth come true. However, the trip from their home country in Europe to Africa to acquire salves was just the start. The traders involved in the slave trade first had to ensure that before they set out to obtain slaves in Africa, that they had financial backing of their national company or the sponsorship of independent private people. This sponsorship included the provision of suitable ships that could handle a large quantity of slaves that could be transported. According to Honychurch (1995) A well-built and healthy slave could be sold for £30 to £40, and having at least 100-200 slaves on board the ship, showed that the European traders tried to acquire as many slaves and thus tried to make as many money as they can. According to Honychurch (1995), depending on weather conditions, it could take anything from five weeks to two months to complete the voyage, which tells that the ship must be able to withstand different weather conditions such as storms, hurricanes and rough seas during the long journey towards the Caribbean. The sponsorship also included an adequate crew who were well hardened and strong enough to handle long periods at sea and who were not as easily sick and would not have to deal with too many illnesses, thus making them strong enough to control rebelling slaves. An asiento which was a license to trade in Africa was also needed as this would save them money because if they were found without an asiento, they would be charged with a fine. Therefore, to prevent this, the European traders brought an asiento. The adequate supplies of food and water ensured that the people on board the ship would not starve and provide them with the proper protein and nutrition needed during the long journey as well. The Europeans took inexpensive food that could be easily cooked in large quantities. Additionally, the key role in the...
Bibliography: Doris Hamilton-Willie. Lest You Forget. Jamaica Publishing House Limited,2001
Claypole William and John Robottom. Caribbean Story Book 1. Pearson Education Limited 1981, 1989, 2001
Negro artist Home Page. 2 February 2012
Analepsis Home page. 2 February 2012
Slavery Site Home Page. 2 February 2012
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