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Slave Trade

The term slave trade came into existence in the mid 17th century when trading ships would sail from Europe to Africa with manufactured goods and these goods were sailed for months. It was easier for Europeans to trade with Africans as the Africans would provide them with young and quick slaves. This was simply done because when the European empire was expanding in the world, it lacked a workforce; European workers would mostly fall sick and wouldn’t be suited for the climate. However, Africans were hard working, resistant individuals who weren’t sensitive to illnesses and survived in all climates. Slavery was nothing new to these poor Africans as this is one of their traditions and they were traded often to different parts of the world.

The Triangular Trade

It was a three stage process. In the first stage, the Europeans would send manufactured goods like clothes, guns, tobacco, beads etc. to Africa. These goods were an exchange for the African slaves. The second stage involved shipping the slaves to America. The last stage involved the return of the slaves to Europe with the produce of the plantations of sugar, cotton etc. It had become a usual practice from 1450 to the end of 19th century that the slave trade would take place between these two regions with the consent and understanding of the African kings.


Slave trade sounds like a brutal act but it was economically very beneficial and there was rise of consumerism in Europe. Many people protested against it and asked to abolish this law and practice. However, it still persisted and people who supported slavery delivered pro speeches on how it was beneficial to the their empire and it will be threatening in the long run if they stop slave trade and made them work.

Conditions Of Salves While Trading

Thirteen percent deaths have been recorded during the time the slaves were taken from Africa to America as it was a long duration and this was caused by hunger, malnutrition etc. They were kept in the worst conditions and they would catch diseases on this long dreadful journey.

The European government put a lot of bans during the 18th century on slavery but the pro slavery people didn’t let these bans affect them. However, the abolition was only possible when the slaves stood up for themselves. Example of this would be how slaves took over the French colony, St. Domnique and it became known as Haiti. Slaves had to stop acting like slaves to stop slave treatment by the Europeans.