When Labor Was Free

Kim Tran

Social Effects

Though the slave trade gained much profit, for Africa it was a serious loss. Africa lost 16 million individuals because of the trade. Several other million was also consumed in the Islamic slave trade in the early modern era. Senegal and Angola lost a sufficient of their population due to slave raiding. Though their population did raise due to American enriched products. The sex ratios were unbalanced due to the fact that 2/3 of the slaves were male. Young male from the ages 14-34 were taken for that they could provide hard labor for a long period of time. By the late eighteenth century, Angola's population made up of 2/3 women. This forced women to conquer over the hard field work and the imbalance of practicing polygamy.

Political Effects

Before the slave trade, African American people were often involved in skirmishes and wars. His encouraged them too to participate in conflicts that wouldn't have occurred. After the 17th century, violence erupted because of the slave trade. The Kingdom of Dahomey expanded their territory rapidly with their arsenal firearms. They became a large slave raiding and had many women soldiers.

Cash Crops

Most plantations produced sugar, which was the main cash crop in the early modern times. In the 17th century, tobacco started to rival sugar, indigo and rice. The Caribbean and American plantations specialized in crops for they were high in demand. These plantations relied on mostly slave labor, and consisted of 100 or more slaves.


There were minor forms of resistance, however they made costly damages for the owners. Some slaves would work slowly or sabotage equipment and work routines. The most daring one was when some slaves attempted to run away. And even when they succeeded, they created their own communities and helped others in need.