The Slave Trade And Its Effects On

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The Slave Trade And Its Effects On Early America Essay, Research Paper The Slave Trade and Its Effects on Early America Slavery played an important role in the development of the American colonies. It was introduced to the colonies in 1619, and spanned until the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863. The trading of slaves in America in the seventeenth century was a large industry. Slaves were captured from their homes in Africa, shipped to America under extremely poor conditions, and then sold to the highest bidder, put to work, and forced to live with the new conditions of America. There was no mercy for the slaves and their families as they were captured from their homes and forced onto slave ships. Most of the Africans who were captured lived in small villages in West Africa.

A typical village takeover would occur early in the morning. An enemy tribe would raid the village, and then burn the huts to the ground. Most of the people who were taken by surprise were killed or captured; few escaped. The captured Africans were now on their way to the slave ships. ?Bound together two by two with heavy wooden yokes fastened around their necks, a long line of black men and women plodded down a well-worn path through the dense forest. Most of the men were burdened with huge elephants’ tusks. Others, and many of the women too, bore baskets or bales of food. Little boys and girls trudged along beside their parents, eyes wide in fear and wonder? (McCague, 14). After they were marched often hundreds of miles, it was time for them to be shipped off to sea, so that

they could be sold as cheap labor to help harvest the new world. But before they were shipped off, they had to pass through a slave-trading station. The slave trade, which was first controlled by Portugal, was now controlled by other European nations. In the late 1600’s, Spain, Holland, England, France and Denmark were all sending ships to West Africa. The slave trade was becoming big business (Goodman, 7). Selection of the slaves by the traders was a painstaking process. Ships from England would pull up on the coast of Africa, and the captains would set off towards the coast on small ships. ?If the slave trader was a black chief, there always had to be a certain amount of palaver, or talk, before getting down to business. As a rule, the chief would expect some presents, or

dash? (Stampp, 26). Once the palaver was over, the slaves had to be inspected. The captain of the ship usually had a doctor who would check the condition of the slaves. They would carefully examine the slaves, looking in their mouths, poking at their bodies, and making them jump around. This was done so that the doctor could see how physically fit the slaves were. If the slaves were not of the doctors standards, they were either killed or kept to see if another ship would take them. In the 1600’s, the journey across the Atlantic for the African slaves was a horrible one. It was extremely disease-ridden, and many slaves did not survive the journey. The people were simply thrown into the bottom of the ship and had to survive the best they could. Often, many slaves had to wait in

the bottom of the ship while they were still docked at the harbor, so that the traders could gather up more and more slaves. There were usually 220 to 250 slaves in each ship. Then they had to stay down there for the long trip across the Atlantic Ocean to the New World. ?Women and children were allowed to roam at large, but the men were attached by leg irons to chains that ran along the ship’s bulwarks. After a breakfast of rice or cornmeal or yams, with perhaps a scrap of meat thrown in, and a little water, there came the ceremony of ?dancing the slaves? -a compulsory form of exercise designed, it was said, for the captive’s physical and mental well being? (Howard, 23). Even though there was ventilation, the air in the crowded hold area quickly grew foul and stinking. Fierce