Atlantic Slave Trade

Topics: Caribbean, Atlantic slave trade, Slavery Pages: 3 (943 words) Published: January 8, 2014
From 1550 to the 1800s, a new system of trading links that carried wealth, people, goods, and cultures around the Atlantic Basin was created. This system is known as the Atlantic system; an effective way of trade between the Americas and Eurasia, but also the cause of countless deaths of African slaves. During the time of the Atlantic System, sugar was one of the most crucial trade items, as well as tobacco, gold, and silver. As the Caribbean colonies were becoming mass producers of sugar in the Atlantic World, a new era of African slave trade began to grow along with it. The economic factors that influenced the expansion of slavery and slave trade were the harsh conditions inflicted on the slaves, the way the products of trade were made, and Europe's constant demand for efficient production of raw goods.

One of the most effectual factors that influenced the expansion of slavery during the time of the Atlantic System were the conditions that the slaves were put through. African slaves underwent waves of plague and disease, and in result, were killed by the thousands. They were also treated lesser that humans should be; being beaten daily by drivers and being forced to work on plantations at a young age. Document 7 is a picture of a transportation vessel that illustrates the method of slave transportation in the Middle Passage. In the vessels, slaves were packed together on the floor and separated into sections all throughout the ship. The long and dangerous voyage in the Middle Passage combined with sickly and dangerous conditions on the boats more often than not led to massive losses of the slaves' lives. Document 5, a chart that details the birth and death proportions for slaves on a Jamaican sugar plantation, validates the large number of slaves dying from severe conditions and disease. Document 9 further confirms the harsh conditions that the slaves were put through. It is an autobiography of a past slave that experienced the harsh reality of being...
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