I’ve just put up a new article on TimeMaps, on the Atlantic Slave Trade. It’s in a slightly raw state at the moment – no contents section, no images, no links. But please have a look anyhow, and comment.
It looks at the background to the rise of the slave trade, with sections on traditional slavery in Africa and on why Europeans became involved. It covers the economics of sugar production, and why it encouraged slavery. The article then deals with the history of the Atlantic Slave Trade, from its beginnings in the 15th century to its height in the late 18th century. It looks at the process of capturing the slaves, their journey to the coast, their experience of the Middle Passage, and their arrival at the New World destination. Mirroring this is coverage of the trading voyages from the viewpoint of the European crew.
Finally, the article discusses the profound impacts on societies in Africa, the Americas (especially the Caribbean, Brazil and the USA), and Europe, making the point that the misery and enslavement of millions of Africans contributed to an expansion of wealth and greater political freedom for Europeans.
In due course we will put up another article on the abolition of the slave trade, and of slavery in the Americas. But as I said above, please do have a look at this article – Atlantic Slave Trade – and as always we welcome your comments.
By Peter Britton