Essay On African Slave Trade

840 Words 4 Pages
In early colonial society the Atlantic Slave Trade brought slaves from Africa to America. Many factors influenced the policies, laws and how these slaves were treated in the New World. In his book Red, White, and Black, Historian Gary B. Nash argues that a few of these factors were the economic, sexual and military needs of the slaveholders. Another key factor in how the slaves were treated was religion and it’s grasp on their master’s life.
The Atlantic Slave Trade
According to Nash, the slave trade officially began in 1472 when a portuguese captain reached the coast of Benin and received royal permission to trade gold, ivory and slaves. As far as the Africans were concerned, this was no new concept for they had been practicing this kind of trade regionally and across their continent. This is an important note because it is widely assumed that Europeans marched into Africa and snatched its people against their government’s will. The slave trade then took off. By 1505, 40,000 slaves were brought to Europe and Atlantic islands by the Portuguese. For the Europeans the slave trade was an immensely profitable enterprise for the next few centuries. It made mass labor affordable and thus increased all trade; countries who were involved in the
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If a slave lived in Brazil their life was very harsh due to tropical climate and disease. Although, the slaves were never stripped of their political, economic, social and religious rights. They were free to work for their freedom and were accepted into society once it was attained. But the quality of life was differed if they were in an urban area rather than a large plantation. According to Nash, in the more rural areas of Spanish and Portuguese colonies, where religion didn’t have as much of a hold on slave owners, life was rather inhumane. Even slave life in the American colonies differed depending on the area and it’s religious

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