Slave Trade

By Liz Pease and Amelia Powell

Social Effects

The slave trade had major social effects on the slaves and other people around them. For the slaves it made them feel worthless and gain a hatred towards their captors. For the people that owned the slaves and other people, the slave trade changed their attitude towards African Americans. Slave Trade made people think of the slaves as property as apposed to people.

Political Effects

The slave trade also had an effect on the politics in the New World and other places. It made politicians forced to support slave trade and make policies that revolved around it. Even if they disagreed about the slaves they couldn't openly oppose it because the majority of people strongly supported slave trade.

Plantation System

Plantations had been used with great effect long before the Europeans settled in the Americas. Sugar cane plantations, for example, had thrived around the Mediterranean in the late Middle Ages, supplying an expensive sweetener for Europe's elites. Working in sugar was especially harsh. Planters organised slaves around a gang system. The toughest work – planting, manuring, and cane-cutting – fell to the strongest and healthiest. Other, less physically demanding tasks were handled by gangs of less robust, younger or older slaves. Even the very young and the old were put to work: driving away birds, cleaning and guarding. From their early years until the onset of old age and infirmity, sugar slaves had to work. Sugar plantations also had factories that converted the harvested sugar cane into raw sugar and then into rum.

Slave Resistance

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, daily acts of resistance, such as slowing down work. The Stono Rebellion in 1739, Gabriel Prossey's conspiracy in 1800, Denmark Vesey's plot in 1822 and Nat Turner's Rebellion in 1831 are the most prominent slave revolts in American history. But only the Stono Rebellion and Nat Turner's Rebellion achieved any success; white Southerners managed to derail the other planned rebellions before any attack could take place.