Slavery in Western Atlantic
Slavery was established in the Western Atlantic in the 16th and 17th centuries due to various factors. One of the factors was the rise of jobs that the whites did not want to perform including farming in plantations (Dal 59). The Europeans did not want to carry tasks that were deemed to be backbreaking and dehumanizing. The British and the French had European and Indian laborers in their plantations. When the laborers died the plantation owners had to look for easily accessible laborers (Vidal 113). They resulted in slavery in the Western Atlantic Additionally, the number of slaves needed to cut cane and work in sugar mills both in Brazil and West Indies prompted the Western Atlantic slavery to increase due to the high demand for the slaves.
Europeans were interested in getting slaves from Africa since they believed they were stronger compared to other natives from different continents. They were interested in the Western Atlantic slaves since they could carry out heavy tasks and had strong immunity. On the other hand, the African chiefs and leaders supported the slave (Dal 61). Therefore, the Europeans had an easy time getting the slaves in huge numbers since their leaders collaborated easily. The support from the leaders helped in establishing the slave trade strongly in the Western Atlantic. The chiefs and other leaders also punished the criminals by selling them off as slaves (Vidal 115). Therefore, the European countries enjoyed cheap slaves who were available in huge numbers. Additionally, they provided cheap commodities that the Africans were dying to have thus prompting proper establishment of the slave trade (Morgan 187). For example, African leaders and the tradesmen enjoyed the cloths or the food items they could get in exchange for the slaves.
Western Atlantic was a strategic position since it connected various contents including Europe, America, and Africa. Therefore, it was easy for slave traders to move across the continents to get the slaves. They could also get the slaves to work in American plantations or European countries (Dal 65). On the other hand, there was already an aspect of slavery in western Africa. Therefore, tradesmen and brokers were easily available to bring the slaves to the coastal region for the slave traders to easily choose what they wanted (Vidal 116). Therefore, slavery in the Western Atlantic was established due to the geographical dynamics, support from the local leaders and the availability of cheap labor.
Dal Lago, Enrico. American Slavery, Atlantic Slavery, and Beyond: The US” peculiar Institution” in International Perspective. Routledge, (2015): 54-82.
Millett, Nathaniel. “Slavery and the Enlightenment in the British Atlantic, 1750–1807 by Justin Roberts.” The William and Mary Quarterly 72.2 (2015): 373-376.
Morgan, Jennifer L. “Accounting for “The Most Excruciating Torment”: Gender, Slavery, and Trans-Atlantic Passages.” History of the Present 6.2 (2016): 184-207.
Vidal, Cécile. “Intimate Bonds: Family and Slavery in the French Atlantic.” Nieuwe West-Indische Gids 93.1/2 (2019): 112-125.