Africa and The Atlantic Slave Trade

By: Neel Paithankar and Phani Gollamudi

Social Structure of The Slave Trade

The man-hunt which raged through Africa bred and sustained inter-tribal hostility, and so contributed to the present-day instability of the continent’s internal relationships. The wars fomented by slavers also unmasked the demon of brutality which lurks in the background of the Negro soul no less than it haunts the white men’s; for centuries it knew no moral censor and burst out of control. The Africans’ dark obsession with death and evil spirits, their grotesque and awful superstitions, the macabre humour and relish with which they explore the depths of other people’s fears and torments, were all now released and given full rein.

Political Structure of The Atlantic Slave Trade

The Transatlantic slave trade radically impaired Africa's potential to develop economically and maintain its social and political stability. The arrival of Europeans on the West African Coast and their establishment of slave ports in various parts of the continent triggered a continuous process of exploitation of Africa's human resources, labor, and commodities. This exploitative commerce influenced the African political and religious aristocracies, the warrior classes and the biracial elite, who made small gains from the slave trade, to participate in the oppression of their own people.

Plantation Systems In New World

Most slaves brought over during the 17th century were on the same social status as indentured servants

· Slave plantations began to dominant the South after the sugar revolution in the Caribbean

· Most people in the American South were European, not slaves

· Where the majority of the population was slaves (like South Carolina) most worked with Europeans who were free

· Fewer than half of the salves belonged to plantation owners who owned 30 or more slaves

· The slave population began to increase faster (more births and lower mortality rates)

How Slaves Resist Slavery

The first slaves arrived in North America in 1619, eventually leading to an economic system that persisted until 1865 when the Thirteenth amendment abolished slavery. How did slaves resist slavery? African and African-American slaves had three available methods to resist slavery: they could rebel against slaveholders, they could run away, or they could perform small, dail