Triangular Trade Research Paper

Triangular trade

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     Slaves and slave trade has been an important part of history for a very long time. In the years of the British thirteen colonies in North America, slaves and slave trade was a very important part of its development. It even carried on to almost 200 years of the United States history. The slave trade of the thirteen colonies was an important part of the colonies as well as Europe and Africa. In order to supply the thirteen colonies efficiently through trade, Europe developed the method of triangular trade. It is referred to as triangular trade because it consists of trade with Africa, the thirteen colonies, and England. These three areas are commonly called the trades “three legs.”
     
     The first leg of this trade was merchants from Europe bringing refined goods to Africa to trade for slaves. The merchants traded with chiefs and high authority leaders. The chiefs pretty much could and would trade whomever they
pleased, there was no restriction regarding who the slaves were.

     On the second leg of this trade slaves were transported to the West Indies, this leg was called the middle passage. This part was horrible for the slaves. About 50% of all the slaves on one ship would not make it to the West Indies because of disease or brutal mistreatment. Hundreds of men, woman and children were cramped together for most of the journey, occasionally able move an almost decent amount.

     On the third leg of the journey slaves were traded for sugar, molasses and other products. Those products were shipped to Europe or other European colonies in the Americas. The slaves in the West Indies were then sold to whomever wanted to buy some.

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Triangular         Trade         West Indies         United States History         Important Part         Slave Trade         Thirteen         Middle Passage        




After this whole process the cycle repeated itself over and over, and this system was used for a long time.

     To supply the thirteen colonies effectively though trade, Europe came up with the idea of triangular trade. Africa, the 13 colonies, and Europe were part of Europe’s invention of triangular trade. In all, this was a very harsh but somewhat successful way of trade.




Atlantic Slave Trade

When most people talk about or think about slavery, they look at how it effected the US. The Atlantic Slave Trade had a huge effect on the US but there are no words or expressions that can describe the effects it had on Africa and its family’s. It is estimated that between 1450 and 1900, there were 11,698,000 slaves exported from Africa. (Atlantic Slave trade, pg.170) To understand the effects this had on Africa you must consider the families that lost relatives, the stores that lost business, and even the friends that lost friendships. None of the misfortunes can be brought back or replaced. The many lives that were taken can never be brought back to life. This not only effected the African culture when it happened but also it effects today’s societies in Africa. The overall net effect of the Atlantic Slave Trade on Africa could never be estimated unless you are inside one of the relatives of a slave. These slaves died for no other apparent reason than the color of their skin.

The effects that the slave trade had on Africa were not all negative. Depending on what point of view your looking from, there were also some positives of the Atlantic Slave Trade. In William Bossman’s account, he states that as soon as the king arrives he will be “satisfied with an amount of one-hundred pounds in Guinea value.” (Atlantic Slave Trade, pg.181) So the kings and most of all the slave traders benefited from the slave trade. One benefit from the Slave Trade would definitely be spiritually. The great misfortunes had to strengthen the inner souls of the people and relatives that were left behind. A lot of these people had nothing left but themselves so they had no choice but to deal with it and get stronger mentally and spiritually. One other benefit from the Slave trade would be that the African Culture was spread to totally different continents. All of these slaves were taken to different places and they went on with their business while all these other people that either owned these slaves or watched over them got to see life from the African’s side of the fence. They got to see different rituals and habits that they have never gotten to see before.

In my opinion the drawbacks of the Slave Trade greatly outweighed the benefits for the African people. The families of these slaves still feel the drawbacks even today. When these people look back at a family tree, all this does is bring back memories of the torture that their relative or relatives endured. The continent itself took a huge hit on its population. Many of these slaves could have played a big role in Africa’s future. Many could have gone on to be nation leaders or even business owners.

In 1502, the first African slaves were reported in the New World. (Amistad.mysticseaport.com) This was the start of a great mistrocity to many families in Africa. The overall effect could never be estimated because we are not in the bodies of those people who lost loved ones. We can not feel the pain that they feel, therefore we can’t say what the net effect is or was.

Amistad.mysticseaport.com (timeline)

Bosman, William, “Slave trading at Whydah on the Bight of Benin, ca 1700”

Lovejoy, Paul E, “The volume of the Atlantic Slave Trade: A consensus,” Journal of African History 22 1982

Bibliography

(Atlantic Slave trade, pg.170)

(Atlantic Slave Trade, pg.181)

Amistad.mysticseaport.com (timeline)

Bosman, William, “Slave trading at Whydah on the Bight of Benin, ca 1700”

Lovejoy, Paul E, “The volume of the Atlantic Slave Trade: A consensus,” Journal of African History 22 1982

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