West African Slave Trade

1097 Words 4 Pages
Throughout the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, Africa as well as the majority of Europe, experienced significant increases due to the thriving transatlantic slave trade. While the Europeans encountered great monetary gains, Africans faced immense agony. The greed for wealth demonstrated by Great Britain, Spain, Portugal, and France invoked an increase in one of the most dangerous careers: piracy. Increasing piracy on the Atlantic Ocean not only generated more anguish for the slaves, but forced the European traders into hardship. John Maxwell, captain of a British ship, was no exception. Maxwell’s involvement in the slave trade provides insight to the Europeans focus on their own suffering rather than Africans involvement in piracy during …show more content…
Ironically, the last peak of piracy occurred during the 1720’s, coinciding with a drastic increase in slave transportation to the Americas. This increase in privateer’s power along with the substantial gains associated with slaves allowed risker invasions possibly harming their primary involvement in the transatlantic slave trade. These bolder actions placed more stress on an already traumatizing experience for the natives of West Africa. Unnoticed by modern historians, pirates seem to increase (at least somewhat) the mortality rate of their precious cargo. The physical ramification due to brutal conflicts between the European traders and the criminals of the sea, force a strenuous choice to fight along with their captor or depend on the unknown for their safety in the eyes of the slaves. Indirectly, this article insinuates that ten slaves are uncounted for after the hijacking, one hundred embarked on their voyage from Old Calabar; however, only ninety were set a shore. Not much is known about John Maxwell’s ventures from Europe to the New World, but complying with assumptions (the assumption of the cause of death) provides a simple explanation for a possible complex situation. The prevailing theory for the absence of these ten slaves comes from the most common reason for death during the travel across the middle passage: disease and unsanitary conditions. However, the unidentified deaths could have easily come from the African slaves resisting this take over. Forced by the Europeans, the slaves may have fought these rebellious pirates, risking their lives to save the rest of the trader’s goods. John Maxwell may as well understood that risking a few slaves to save the majority would be the most beneficial for his profits rather than just losing all of the slaves he

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