ChAPTER 24 -- Part 3: Africa and the Africans in the Age of
The majority of trans-Saharan slaves were women who were used as concubines and domestic servants in north Africa and the Middle East.
The planters and mine owners in the Americas were not willing to risk buying children because of the high levels of mortality because they were looking for workers for heavy labor.
African societies that sold captives into slavery preferred to sell the men and keep the women and children as slaves or extended existing kin groups.
It was true by the 19th century.
There were regional variations.
More women were imported to the English colonies of Jamaica and Barbados than to Brazil or Cuba.
Some parts of west and central Africa seem to have had a demographic impact on the Atlantic trade.
The population of 25 million in those regions in 1850 would have been half what it was had there been no slave trade.
It is true that the trans Atlantic trade carried more men than women and more women than children, but captive women and children who remained in Africa swelled the numbers of enslaved people in those societies and skewed the proportion of women to men in the African enslaving societies.
As the Atlantic trade developed, new crops such as maize and manioc introduced from the Americas provided additional food resources for the population in Africa and helped it recover from the losses to the slave trade, but African plants and botanical knowledge also moved across the Atlantic to the Americas.
The Euro peans on the African coast followed the patterns of contact and trade established by the Portuguese.
The political situation in Europe was reflected in the control of the slave trade.
Until about 1630, the Portuguese were the major suppliers of their own colony of Brazil and the Spanish settled in America.
The growth of slave-based plantation colonies in the Caribbean led other Europeans to compete with the Portuguese.
The Dutch seized El Mina in 1637.
The English wanted to have their own slaves for their colonies in Jamaica and Virginia.
The French made similar arrangements in the 1660s, but did not become a major carrier until the 18th century.
The slave trade and forts on the African coast were under the control of the agents of the Danes.
Each nation established merchant towns or trade forts from which a steady source of captives African slaves could be obtained.
Africa was a graveyard for the Europeans who were stationed on the coast.
Most of the employees of the Royal Africa Company died in the first year after they returned to England.
The crews of slave ships were more likely to die of tropical diseases.
The slave trade was deadly for everyone, but at least some of the Europeans had a choice.
European agents had to pay taxes or give gifts to local rulers.
Iron bars, brass rings, and cowrie shells were some of the forms of currency used.
Children and women were priced at fractions of the value.
The complex exchange system brought slaves to the coast.
Sometimes European military campaigns produced captives for established by the Spanish for slaves, or African and mulatto agents purchased captives at interior trade centers.
The value of royal monopoly was established to control the flow of slaves.
Some groups taxed an adult male slave.
Private merchants were able to circumvent restrictions when it came to the trade.
Europeans and Africans were involved in the slave trade.
It wasn't always clear which side was in control.
Millions of Africans were sent into bondage in foreign lands as a result of this collaboration.
The profitability of the slave trade has been debated by historians.
The rise of commercial capitalism and the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution are thought to have been influenced by the profits.
Many people profited from the trade in African slaves.
A single slaving voyage might make a profit of as much as 300 percent, and merchants in the ports that specialized in fitting out ships for the slave trade could make a profit as well.
Profitability levels did not remain high because of the risks and costs involved in the slave trade.
In the late 18th century, the English slave trade had an average profitability of between 5 and 10 percent.
The slave trade was not a major source of capital for the Industrial Revolution because it was not profitable in the long run.
It is difficult to calculate the full economic importance of slavery to the economies of Europe because it was directly linked to the plantation and mining economies of the Americas.
How important were these investments for transported to europe?
To measure the importance of slavery to the growth of the European economies, we need to calculate the value of goods produced in Europe for exchange in the slave trade as well as the profits from the colonies.
The very persistence of the slave trade makes it difficult to be viable.
The formation of capitalism in the Atlantic world was made possible by the slave trade.
The slave trade drew economies into dependence on trade with Europeans and suppressed the growth of other economic activities.
The slave trade and slavery were important parts of the economy of the Atlantic basin by the late 18th century.
The plantation economies of Brazil, the Caribbean, and the southern United States were booming in the early 19th century, and more than 40 percent of all the slaves that crossed the Atlantic embarked during the century after 1760.