The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade The Trans-Atlantic slave trade was a transportation of mostly West African slaves over a period of three and a half centuries across the Atlantic Ocean to America and Europe. An estimated twelve million men, women, and children were taken from their African homelands to be used as slaves. The slave trade provided a great labour force for America and both the United States and African economies became increasingly reliant on European trade as America was receiving free labour and Africa was selling off their own people for goods. This resulted in a huge impact on the imperial and economical expansion of both locations. The economic, social and political impact on the Indigenous people was extensive as they were regularly forced into terrible living conditions with long hours on plantation farms and were often beaten and starved. Britain played the biggest role in the fight for the abolition of the slave trade with the most notable abolitionist being William Wilberforce. The Act for the abolition in Europe of the slave trade was signed into law by King George the third on the 25th March 1807. This was only to stop the actual trading not to stop the use of slaves; slavery was abolished 27 years later. America took a much longer time, only abolishing slavery when the 13th amendment to the constitution was ratified in the year 1865. Although unethical and problematic the slave trade was beneficial for the economic expansion in both Africa and America and was very profitable. Plantation owners gained large profits by utilising unpaid labour and grew very wealthy, particularly from cotton in South Alabama, the Caribbean and South America. This new found wealth was due to European companies paying large sums of money for the quality cotton. The slave ship owners also benefited significantly as a result of the slave trade, most making huge...
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