Bristol Case Study

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Bristol became the largest English slave-trading port in the early for a short space of time following the removal of the monopoly of the Royal African Company in 1698 and subsequent gains which aided in growth of this portside city. A variety of factors aided growth including location of Bristol in relation to the Atlantic world, its economic connection with the many merchants trading with major slaving trading nations like Portugal and sending manufactured goods to parts of west Africa as well as having multiple connections with Virginia already put Bristol in a successful position to engage in the slave trade in this period. Bristol was a place known for the copper smelter, glass making and a sugar refinery which relied heavily on the triangular …show more content…
The location of the seaside city port on the south west coast, made it easily accessible to the Atlantic world from ships coming to Bristol but also ships departing for Africa for trading purposes. Not only is Bristol’s geographical location should considered vital as a way of maintaining strong historical links between different parts of the Atlantic world.
Bristol maintained links across the Atlantic world which put it in a strong position to be the likelihood of being a successful as a slave trading port. Some of these places included parts of the western African coast through privateers and interlopers, islands in the Caribbean with the growth of plantation culture in mainly St Kitts and Jamaica but also across to the former colonies of
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The demand for these kinds of goods required larger labour force to harvest them which put pressure on labour forces forcing the Atlantic world to rely on slave labour. The Bristol merchants were tactful in their approach to the slave trade. Based on their ties to particular regions, they were able to exploit “opportunities for marketing slaves in colonies such as Virginia and St Kitts and concentrated successfully supplying slaves to...Jamaica.” Because the Bristolian merchants were intelligent and played on their connections with specific regions of the Atlantic to maintain secure ties with, they were able to reap the benefits on both a personal and wider economic level to the city. Virginia sent back tobacco and wood for slaving ships in return for the Bristol slaving voyage and in the case of the islands of St Kitts and Jamaica for sugar. By the mid 1670s, one third to half of the trade was dependent on American and the West Indies markets. which illustrates the continuous connection between the areas of the Atlantic world and would place Bristol in a strong position in order to become involved with the slave trade. Madge Dresser described Bristol as being of “crucial economic importance” because “it supported a wider network of trade that was dependent on the labour of enslaved

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