Africa and the Slave Trade

Millions and millions of people were taken from West Africa between the 1400's and 1700's and sold as slaves - mainly in the West Indies and North and South America. 

  • Created by: Sammie
  • Created on: 14-05-11 14:23

Slavery's been around since the beginning of histo

1) In Ancient Greece slaves worked in mines, on farms and as house servants.

2) The Roman Empire would have ground to a halt without slavery - at times there were more slaves in Rome than there were Romans.

3) In the 600s the Abbasid Empire enslaved black Africans.

There were Some slavery in Africa Before Europeans came

1) Many West African tribes kept slaves. most were prisioners of war

2) Some were kept in chains and worked hard.

3) Others lived as part of the family they worked for, and could earn their freedom over time, or be bought back back their own families.

4) Before Europeans arrived, Muslim traders sold about 5000 people a year into slavery in Europe and the Middle East.

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European slavery was on a Massive Scale

The Portuguese were the first Europeans to reach West Africa in about 1415. They were looking for a trade route to India - they wanted to buy spices without going through expensive Arab middleman.

1) The Portuguese started trading slaves to work on their plantations in Madeira and the Canary Islands.

2) After Columbus found the West Indies in 1492, the Spanish set up plantations there.

3) The Portuguese started selling selling slaves to the Spanish. They were made to work in plantations.

4) By the 1600s, the Britsih, Dutch and French had set up trade posts in Africa to sell slaves to the Spanish.

5) By the 1700s the British dominated the transatlantic slave trade and had plantations of their own in the West Indies and America.

6) At least 11 million people died on the way across the Atlantic because of atrocious conditions and treatment. Many millions became slaves.

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( plantations grew crops like cotton, tobacco and sugar, which the plantation owners could sell for big profits back in Europe.

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Because of the slave trade some ports became busy and rich cities. Bristol, Liverpool, Hull and Lancaster all grew really quickly since the triangular trade started.

Most people were affected by slavery in some way...

When we think of the slave trade we usually only think of the slaves or the people by selling or using slaves. But slavery also affected the lives of normal people - for example, because of the work the slaves were doing, it meant that goods like cotton, tobacco and sugar were cheaper, so more people could afford them.

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