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7 Little Known Facts About The Atlantic Slave Trade

Here are 7 Little known facts about the atlantic slave trade that saw a vast majority of africans transported as slaves to a whole new world to work on plantations from the 15th through the 19th century.
atlantic slave trade

1. The Atlantic slave trade developed after Europeans began exploring and establishing trading posts on the Atlantic (west) coast of Africa in the mid-15th century. The first major group of European traders in West Africa was the Portuguese, followed by the British and the French. In the 16th and 17th centuries.
They considered the slaves as cargo to be transported to the Americas as quickly and cheaply as possible, to be sold to labour in coffee, tobacco, cocoa, sugar and cotton plantations and as domestic servants.

2. Some rulers in West and west central African states, were already involved in slave trading, even before the Europeans came in. When the Europeans came they decided to cash in by supplying the Europeans with African slaves for export across the Atlantic in exchange for personal items.

3. Africans who facilitated and benefited from the slave trade were generally rulers and elites members of african states. This municipal slave traders captured slaves and brought them to markets on the coast to sell them to European and American buyers. Among the things popularly used to pay for the slaves include cloth, iron, firearms, liquor, Mirror and generally items that were useful to the sellers.

4. Initially the Africans who were enslaved and sold to the Europeans were mostly prisoners of war. But it all changed in the 18th century, when the demand for slaves grew. To keep up with the demand for slaves by the Europeans, most African Merchants organized numerous slave raids.

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5. From the mid 15th to the late 19th century, European and American slave traders purchased approximately 12 million slaves from West and west central Africa alone.

6. Due to the inhumane conditions aboard the slave ships, many captured slaves died on the long journey to the coast. Historians estimate that between 1.5 and 2 million slaves died during the journey to the New World.

7. The end of the slave trade and slavery in Africa had negative effects on the African continent. As many societies that for centuries had participated in an economy based on slave labor and the trading of slaves had difficulty finding new ways to organize labor and gain wealth.

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