Africa and Atlantic World

By: Amela Pjetrovic and Kate Perlioni

1. Describe the social effects of the slave trade.

Black slaves were exploited in the slave trade, and that affected the New World through deep rooted social divides being formed. This divide between blacks and whites was reinforced by segregation, and the social taboo of interracial marriages. This completely differs from slaves that were sent to the Middle East, where interracial relationships were more common and people were more open minded racially. Overall, it caused many riffs between people of different races.

2. Describe the political effects of the slave trade.

The slave trade was very important and a vital factor to the economic development of European nations. However, in Africa, the slave trade caused major political instability. It lead to Africa's legal institutions completely crumbling, which contributes to the underdevelopment of Africa in the modern world. Violence in Africa was driven by the slave trade, as several African people got involved and fought in wars that didn't pertain them at all.

3. How did the plantation system work in the New World? What cash crops were produced?

Tobacco, rice, cotton, sugar cane and indigo were all valuable plants that were grown as successful cash crops. Cash crops were specialized crops that were grown by planters in order to be sold for profits, and they were not used for personal use or personal consumption on the plantations. Planters did not have any difficulty transporting their crops because of the several waterways throughout the Southern colonies which made it made it very convenient for ships going through the ocean to tie up at the plantation docks.

4. How did slaves resist (forms of resistance?

The Middle Passage was the journey slaves took on ship that took them from their home of West Africa to the West Indies. This journey would take about three weeks, depending on the weather conditions. The slaves were fed only the bare minimum, which was about once or twice a day. There were air holes in the ships so that the slaves could breathe, however, during storms, these holes were shut. There were uprisings along the journey, but dead bodies were simply thrown overboard. The death rates on the ships were extremely high. Some slaves even attempted to commit suicide, but slavers did the most to keep them from actually following through with it.