The Atlantic Slave Trade

Explain the Atlantic slave trade and the life of enslaved Africans in the colonies.

Europeans in the Americas were forced to start bringing Africans to the new world, due to the fact that the natives were dying at a very fast rate. Europeans realized that enslaving Africans had several advantages over enslaving the Native Americans, including that they wouldn't die due to Europeans diseases because most of them have already been exposed to it and were immunized. This buying and selling of Africans to be shipped to the Americas is what became known as the Atlantic slave trade. In about 100 years, 300,000 Africans were shipped to the Americas, and by its end on the late 1800s, the number of Africans had gone to 9 1/2 millions. Africans were transported through the transportation route known as the triangular trade, which carried from Africa, to the Americas, to Europe, and the trip that brought these Africans to the Americas was known as the Middle Passage.

Many Africans did not survive the hard voyage from Africa to the Americas, but those who did faced a hard life on their new home. When arriving, they were usually auctioned to the highest bidder, and when sold they started working on mines or as servants. They were exposed to long hours of hard work and beating. In order to be able to deal with this hard life, slaves found ways to cope and resist these treatment. Many made themselves less productive and worked slowly while thousands ran away. Others revolted openly. African slaves contributed in big part to the development of the Americas, mainly with their work. They also brought their culture, which inclienced American societies, and their influence left a mark on the population [many nations of the western hemisphere have african-american populations].

Europeans used Native Americans in the Americas. As most of the Native Americas started dying from disease, warfare, and brutal treatment; Europeans soon turn to African workers. Europeans turned into Africans because of their demand for cheap labor, many Africans had been exposed to European diseases ad built up immunity and had experiences in farming. This massive buying, transporting and selling of Africans for work in the New World is known as he Atlantic Slave Trade. By the time it ended around 1870, Europeans had imported about 9.5 million Africans to the Americas.

African who survived their ocean voyage faces a difficult or even inhuman life in the Americas. An estimated amount of 8 million people died in their storage and in the landing to the New World. First they were sold to the higher bidder. Then they work on mines or fields and the majority was shipped to Brazil, the Caribbean, and the Spanish Empire. They were forced to large hour of harsh work. Soon they organized rebellions. They made themselves less productive by working slowly, breaking tools. They even did open revolt against the Europeans. In 1522, about 20 slaves on Hispaniola attacked and killed several Spanish colonist.

The Atlantic slave trade was the trading of African people to the colonies of the New World. At first, Native Americans were used as slaves by Europeans, but when they arrived to the new world, they brought many diseases that killed Native Americans at a very fast rate, because of that they had to bring Africans so they can do their job. After being capture, slaves were shipped to the Americas, along the way many people died. When the Europeans went to the west coast of Africa they exchanged goods for captured Africans, Africans were transported to the West Indies and there they sold them, the trip that brought these Africans to the Americas was known as the Middle Passage.
The ones that survived the voyage faced a difficult life in the Americas, when they arrived to the Americas, they were auctioned to the highest bidder and stared to work as an unpaid worker on sugar, coffee, cocoa and cotton plantations, in gold and silver mines, in rice fields, and in houses to work as servants. For them to deal with this, they developed a way of life based on their cultural heritage. Also they found ways to resist, they make themselves less productive, and many also ran away, and revolted. Africans slaves contributed to a lot to the development of the Americas.

by Kimberly Dominguez

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License