Transatlantic Slave Trade

TransatlanticSlave Trade

Titleof course:


TransatlanticSlave Trade

Thetransatlantic slave trade is recognized as one of the earliest formsof interaction between continents. It was marked by the massivetransportation of enslaved Africans into America leading to therepopulation and other effects concerning culture and raceinteractions. During this activity, Europeans were able to acquire agood number of slaves. As farming and plantations increased inpractice and intensity, the demand for more slaves went up making theslave trade the official business engagement in the mid-1600s.

Duringthe slave trade period, the African communities benefitted fromEuropean and American goods that were the exchange mode for slaves.This particular trade led to the enjoinment of the two continents.However, abolitionists of British origin conducted the first studiesconcerning the transatlantic slave trade. These people spoke againstthe cruelty of the trade despite the opposite view of the professionas a booming business, the presence of African merchants and thesocio-economic effects of such vast migration of Africans intoanother region.

Inhis writing, David Northrup illustrates the different conceptions orperceptions concerning the slave trade. On the one hand, some viewedit as a means of capital enterprise, some as an example of diminishedmorality and increased inhumanity. Others recognized the trade as asignificant link in the development and interaction of an Atlanticsystem while still, a section of people perceived it as the beginningof a world characterized by racism. The author goes on further todescribe the complex nature of the subject matter marred by instancesof ethical issues, and inhumane treatment.

Apparently,the Europeans had a significant share in the establishment of theexchange system. However, the African Rulers also facilitated theprogression [ CITATION Dav15 l 1033 ].By using several examples of the involvement of the French andIslamic world, the information source capturesin detail the multifaceted dimensions of the transatlantic slavetrade. Despite having an in-depth explanation of these aspects,little is said concerning the effects in the African context. Thecultural and commercial facets are recognized as the most criticalcomponents encompassed on the ultimate aftermath.

Differentfrom the above-discussed article, Toby Green focuses his monograph onthe expansion of the slave trade specifically in Western Africa. Theregion between Gambia and Sierra Leon is widely considered as theinitial site that saw heightened practice of the slave trade. Thissource provides a detailed history of both social and culturaloccurrences that took place due to this expansion. The document wasdeveloped over years of serious research about violence, flexibility,and other fundamental issues that supported the trade.

Inhis arguments, the author purports that the already existingcharacteristics were major players in the cultural adaptability hencegiving ample room for Africans and Europeans to form businessalliances and networks. Violence is also mentioned as a crucialfactor that led to the growth of mixed communities. At the moment,historical experts place emphasis on the importance of transatlanticand cross-cultural interaction history. However, Green brings thedetails, and scope and vision of the exact details which whencombined with economic and political agents facilitate the productionof a broad range of early day commerce and culture [ CITATION Tob12 l 1033 ].All in all,the article is cultural centered which tends to rouse sentiments asto whether that was the primary driver of the slave trade. Otherdocumented reports tend to point at more than one reason for thetrade. Likewise, by focusing on a particular region, the point of theorigin of transatlantic trade might be missed. This is because thepractice was not limited to a single area. On the contrary, it was awidespread activity in almost the whole coastal regions of Africa.

Theabove mentioned historical sources are limited to the beginning andexpansion of the transatlantic slave trade. This particular documentillustrates the various reasons as to why the slave trade eventuallyended. The first explanation revolves around a shift in economicinterests. The author attributes these changes to America’sattained independence as well as the opening of direct trade linksbetween the French and the Dutch. The industrial revolution’s roleis also recognized here since countries no longer required the laborand goods from slaves. The second reason is attributed to theresistance shown by the slaves. Since the beginning of the trade, theprisoners struggled to break free from the bondage.

Theroad towards freedom was further fuelled by the French revolutionthat saw the rise of ideas related to equality and social liberty. Increased rates of slave revolts led to flat revenues. There was alsoa strong indication that enslaved individuals were no longertolerating the act. As more and more rebellions took place, theEuropeans realized that keeping slaves was dangerous. It was thuseasier to embrace abolition that embarks into a general war. Thenecessary parliamentary reforms also empowered slaves. Moreover,various religious and destruction campaigns prompted universalfreedom for all the slaves. Although the act did not free slavesimmediately, it paved the way for their liberty. This articleprovides only a few main reasons as to why slavery and the slavetrade dissipated.

Theapproach is more of an analysis of the factors leading to freedom.This does not necessarily allude that all the slaves attained theirfreedom [ CITATION Joh111 l 1033 ].The process wasnot as easy as described. War, murders, riots and propertydestruction were all present. While it is possible to conclude thatthese are the reasons for the end of the transatlantic slave trade,the question about the role of civilization and religion have notbeen established as the required abolition course for the movement,yet it is evident that they were equally important.

Inthe last article, information is provided concerning thereconfiguration of t institutions that took part in abolition. Assuch, the end of slavery did not occur simultaneously with removal.By developing a combined analysis in West Africa in the contemporaryaspect, it has now been established that abolition did not lead tothe complete liberation of slaves. On the contrary, there was apersistent sustenance of a type of servitude. Other vices such asdiscrimination and struggles were still present as in the days beforethe enactment of abolition.

Therole of Muslim domination is illustrated is illustrated by politicaldiscourse as well as its influence on the social construction of theaffected regions. The colonial and post-colonial era are observedfrom a different perspective, and the persistence of slavery havebeen duly identified with relation to the historical significance ofthe slave trade [ CITATION Ari11 l 1033 ].There have been obstacleswhen it comes to confronting slavery during colonialism. It is noteasy to comprehend the degree of stigma, discrimination and otherchallenges that shape the present situation. This article isinadvertently based on the contributions of the experiences of formerslave and their descendants to the current structure.


Thetransatlantic slave trade was not facilitated by the Europeans alone.The African community leaders also played a vital role in theexchange. Likewise, the ultimate outcomes were also observed inEurope and Africa. There are many explanations about the initiationand abolishment of slavery. However, the answer to the question ofwho had the greatest part is multifaceted. Nevertheless, thetransatlantic slave trade is a historical phenomenon that not onlydescribes the issues that were faced in the past but also providessubstantial explanations to the social, cultural and ethnicdiversities in the contemporary world.


Green, Toby. 2012. The Rise of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade in western Africa, 1300-1589 . Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Gross, Ariela J. 2011. &quotNeither Fugitive nor Free: Atlantic Freedom Suits and the Legal Culture of Travel.&quot Journal of Slave and Post-Slave Studies 37-41.

Northrup, David. 2015. The Atlantic Slave Trade. New York: Oxford.

Oldfield, John. 2011. The Abolition of The Slave Trade. Southampton: University of Southampton.