Africa and the Atlantic World

Aakriti Singh

Social Effects of the Slave Trade

Africa suffered serious losses from the slave trade and capture of the Africans. The Atlantic trade alone deprived the African society by about 16 million people. Another factor was several million were captured and sent into Islamic slave trade. West African societies between Senegal and Angola were especially vulnerable to slave capture because the region was close to slave trade ports. The slaves themselves suffered from anxiety and depression due to the capture and terrible conditions they faced. The slave trade also distorted sex ratios of the African countries, since about 2/3 of all slaves were male, this caused African countries, such as Angola, to practice polygamy and take on duties such as working in fields.
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Political Effects of the Slave Trade

The slave trade brought turmoil to African societies. During early modern times African peoples fought many wars for reasons that had little or nothing to do with the slave trade, but it encouraged them to participate also in conflicts that might never have occurred in the absence of the trade. VIolence especially escalated in the seventeenth century, when the Europeans began trading firearms with the African peoples for slaves.
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Plantation System in the New World

Most African slaves were brought to large plantations in the tropical and subtropical regions of the Western Hemisphere, in the fifteenth century, most of these plantations were producing sugar, since it was one of the most profitable cash crops of the time. By the seventeenth century, tobacco was also another profitable cash crop, as well as rice and indigo. By the eighteenth century, most plantations cultivated cotton, and coffee emerged as a speciality.
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Slave Resistance

Conditions were so bad, slaves often tried to starve themselves. The sick were thrown of the ship to prevent others from being infected and to not waste food. They also tried to revolt against the men taking them to Americas, by rioting and trying to overthrow the ship. Slave revolts occurred in plantation societies, where the slaves outnumbered the plantation owners and supervisors, who found these to be frightful, as they often ended with widespread death and destruction.
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