The Triangular Trade
The Transatlantic Slave Trade had three stages:
- Slave ships from Britain left ports like London, Liverpool and Bristol for West Africa carrying goods
such as cloth, guns, ironware and drink that had been made in Britain.
- Later, on the West African coast, these goods would be traded for men, women and children who had been captured
by slave traders or bought from African chiefs.
- African dealers kidnapped people from villages up to hundreds of miles inland. One of these people was Quobna Ottabah Cugoano who described in the autobiography how the slavers attacked with pistols and threatened to kill those who did not obey. They marched the captives to the coast where they would be traded for goods. The prisoners would be forced to march long distances, as Major Galan describes, with their hands tied behind their backs and their necks connected by wooden yokes.
- On the African coast, European traders bought enslaved peoples from travelling African dealers or nearby African chiefs. Families were separated.
- The traders held the enslaved Africans until a ship appeared in forts and dungeons like this one in Ghana
, and then sold them to a European or African captain. It often took a long time for a captain to fill his ship. He rarely filled his ship in one spot. Instead he would spend three to four months sailing along the coast,
looking for the fittest and cheapest slaves.
- Ships would sail up and down the coast filling their holds with enslaved Africans. On the brutal ‘Middle Passage‘, enslaved Africans were densely packed onto ships that would carry them to the West Indies.
- There were many cases of violent resistance by Africans against slave ships and their crews. These included attacks from the shore by ‘free’ Africans against ships or longboats and many cases of shipboard revolt by slaves.
- In the West Indies enslaved Africans would be sold to the highest bidder at slave auctions.
- Once they had been bought, enslaved Africans worked for nothing on plantations.
- They belonged to the plantation owner, like any other possession, and had no rights at all. The enslaved Africans were often punished very harshly.
- Enslaved Africans resisted against their enslavement in many ways, from revolution to silent, personal resistance. Some refused to be enslaved and took their own lives. Sometimes pregnant women preferred abortion to bringing a child into slavery.
- On the plantations, many enslaved Africans tried to slow down the pace of work by pretending to be ill, causing fires or ‘accidentally’ breaking tools. Whenever possible, enslaved Africans ran away. Some escaped to South America, England or North America. Also there were hundreds of slave revolts.
- Two thirds of the enslaved Africans, taken to the Americas, ended up on sugar plantations. Sugar was used to sweeten another crop harvested by enslaved Africans in the West Indies – coffee.
- With the money made from the sale of enslaved Africans, goods such as sugar, coffee and tobacco were bought and carried back to Britain for sale. The slave traders than sold those goods in Europe made a tremendous profit. Bought some manufactured goods from Europe went down to Africa and the triangle started all over again.
We will begin to take a look at how America got it’s slave population. Between 1500 and and 1827 millions of slaves were brought from West Africa to the New World. The conditions surrounding slave trade were brutal. A couple of facts
1. Without slaves America would never have become the most powerful nation in the world
2. A large fortune was made in the slave trade. It made enormous profit for the slave traders, and the people who bought this free labor. Lets take a look at the slave trade in terms of how it was organized and how it was so powerful.
February is Black History Month and this year 2013, is part of the the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. (1861 -1865)
We are going to start by taking a look a the institution of slavery in America, then go into the Abolitionist movement and then finally the civil war, the war that would end slavery.
We start with the Institution of slavery what it really was, how it got started and how it evolved into a way of life in American by 1861 with 4 million african-american people living in bondage. The picture of this man’s back horribly scarred from so many beatings tells you a main part of the story of slavery, slavery was brutal plain and simple. Look at the picture and you learn the first thing you have to about the slavery.
Now lets talk about what it meant to be a slave. It meant that you were owned for life, it meant that your children were owned. You had no rights. The slave could not own property or decide how to live your life. You were there purely for the profit of your master and could not do what you wanted or go where you wanted. You could be beaten. If you died as a result of these beatings your owner would and in most cases could not be held responsible. You could be Sold away and separated from your family. The slave was property in the same way you own any object. If I own an item like a pencil or book I can do anything I want to this inanimate( not live) object because I own it. I can sell it, or destroy it because I own it. One of the best ways perhaps to look at the institution of slavery is people even children like these slave children in the photo were treated like inanimate objects. But the most important thing to remember about the institution of slavery is that it was for profit. In 1861 the richest (worth the most money) resource the United State had was the 4 million african american slaves living in the southern states. They were worth more than the land, the gold, the silver or the factories. Humans enslaved at a price of between 300 to 2000 dollars times 4 million was where most of America’s wealth ( money) was concentrated. So the first fact that we begin about slavery is that slavery was brutal and cruel, and the second fact about slavery is that it was about was money. Money and profit.
Your class read Charles Dicken’ Classic ” A Christmas Carol”. We are going to create a written opinion piece based on this story and a quote of our 16th President Abraham Lincoln. The full opinion piece will ask you to consider Lincoln’s words in relation to Charles Dickens story but for today lets just get at what Mr. Lincoln meant by these word below.
That is what Lincoln had to say about Happiness: Most Folks are as happy as they make their mind up to be” What does Lincoln mean ? Explain what Lincoln’s opinion about happiness was. ( In at least 4 sentences but no more than 10)
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
19,000 people fit into the new Barclays Center to see Jay-Z perform. This blog was viewed about 91,000 times in 2012. If it were a concert at the Barclays Center, it would take about 5 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.