The Atlantic Slave Trade

This is the essay for the 34th week of the 7th Grade Ron Paul Curriculum. It’s about the Atlantic Slave Trade.

The Atlantic Slave Trade began when the Portuguese started capturing slaves in Africa in 1502 and bringing them to their plantations in the New World. They forced the slaves to do hard labor. The reason the Portuguese started capturing Africans was that their plantations were very labor intensive and they didn’t have much labor available. Zo they resorted to the Atlantic Slave Trade. The Atlantic Slave Trade had two different eras. These two eras were the first Atlantic system and the second Atlantic system. In the first Atlantic system, it was only the Portuguese capturing slaves. It ended in 1580 when more countries started getting involved.

The second Atlantic system only ended in the 19th century. In the second Atlantic system, more countries started participating in the slave trade. The major countries that participated were the Portuguese, Dutch, French and England. But most of the slaves being transported was done by England. Over half the slaves captured during the second Atlantic system were done in the 18th century.

The Atlantic slave trade made worked and kept running, because of its triangular trade route. First, the ships took goods from Europe and brought them to Africa where they would the goods for slaves with the tribe leaders, sometimes they even captured the slaves themselves. Then the ships sailed to the new world either in South America, the Caribbean or  North America. But most of the slaves were sent to the Caribbean. After the ships had collected the goods from the colonies they sailed back to Europe and sold the goods there. The ships then repeated the process millions and millions of times. One of the first people who used this route was Sir John Hawkins the mentor of Sir Francis Drake.

Most of the slaves that were captured were from West-Africa. The slaves being imported to the New World was actually the largest immigrant population in the world until the late-18th century. The Atlantic slave trade had a big impact on the world especially the New World and Africa. When the Atlantic slave trade was in operation it captured and robbed 10,000,000 Africans of their lives. Even when countries, like England, banned the slave trade, the damage had already been done. But you shouldn’t keep blaming yourself for something that your ancestors did a long time ago. You should start focusing on the future and things you can actually have an impact on. And the slave trade wasn’t entirely the captain’s fault who brought the slaves to the new world and the plantation owners who worked the slaves almost to death. The African tribes also are at fault. The tribes would sell anyone that didn’t belong to their tribe to the slave traders. And some tribes and countries refused to participate in the slave trade altogether.

Did you know there was a slave trade in the middle east where Arabians also captured Africans? There were a few things that made the Atlantic slave trade worse than the Arabian one. A key factor was that in the New World slavery was heritable while in the middle east it was not. This meant that if you lived in the New World and your father was a slave that meant that you were also a slave. While in the middle east you were free. And in the middle east, the Arabians slaves were any captives from war while in the New World it was only the Black.