African Slave Trade Essay

Question 1

History is the study of past happenings mainly based on human affairs. In the essay, discussed will be the history of Africa and the Atlantic world. There are several significant items covered in the chapter.  The primary will include the fateful connection between Africa and Europe (Carson, Lapsansky-Werner, & Nash, 2007). It gives awareness as to why the Portugal colonized the Atlantic Islands. The Portuguese began slave trading where they sold a large number of the slaves to Europe. When human labor in Europe lands increased, the demand for slaves reduced forcing the Portuguese to terminate slaving trading. Moreover, Portugal was known as the first country to colonize the Atlantic Islands.

Prince Henry, the son of Portugal’s King Joao, was the first to introduce colonization in Atlantic Islands. His dream was succeeded by the political ambition he had and the energy as well as zeal to rule others. He influenced the Portuguese to put down roots on the Atlantic and Madeira Islands which were parts of the Northern Africa. During this period, the Portuguese practiced gathering treasures from wild such as honey and indigenous plants from which they made dyes for trade. Later, they began growing wheat and grapevines which contributed to the search of slaves to work on the lands. Thus, the Portuguese sent raiding parties to the African coast to search for the slaves who would plow on the Islands colonies.   

The second essential item is the issue of sugar and slavery. It enables people to understand the introduction of the slave trade in search of individuals to work on the sugar plantations. After the Portuguese had stopped slave trading in Europe, they thought of cultivating their farms with the aid of human labor. It led to the use of the slaves to work on their sugar plantation. Moreover, African slave would never have become more than a minor commerce without the burgeoning labor shortage created by Europe’s overseas expansions and the intensifying hunger for sugar. However, were it not for Europe’s colonization of the Americas, the early slave trade that brought a limited number of African slaves to southern Europe and Atlantic Islands might have ceased and being remembered as temporary phenomenon stemming from early Europeans contact with Africa.

Moreover, the discovery of sugar changed all that potent when the Spanish and Portuguese stepped up their colonization in South America. They learned that sugarcane only grew in the Atlantic Islands off the West Coast of Africa. Thus, they knew that with the help of slaves from Africa they would succeed in the growth sugarcane which would later be traded as sugar. Therefore, it led to the emergence of the slave trade in the Atlantic Islands to help in the sugar plantations. Also, the trauma of enslavement is another essential element covered in the chapter. It aids in understanding why there was the capturing and sale of slaves in Africa. The capturing and sale of the slaves led to many people being traumatized. They walked long distances whereby they were beaten and the worst part they were sold naked. The captives were demoralized and forced to match to the West Coast of Africa load onto wooden ships which were followed by a miserable journey across the ocean.

The sale of Africans to the Americans is another item which elaborates why the Africans moved to the North America (Carson, Lapsansky-Werner, & Nash, 2007). Moreover, the slave trade was extended to America. There they suffered brutal torture whereby those who survived were forced to work in their lands. They endured the suffering whereby they were sold as chattel to a European master and later transported to the place of their labor. Due to such labor, the Africans were compelled to move to North America. Last but not least is the restriction on free black people. It explains which boundaries the Africans were supposed to cross in America.

The blacks were seen only as slave workers where they were restricted to the movement across America. Cross borders were formed to restrict their movements. They were accomplished by the set of laws in the Europeans countries which were obligatory to limit the blacks. Moreover, the laws were strengthened by the South Carolinians whereby they prohibited the intermarriage between the white women and free black men. They were restricted from seeing white females and those caught would be made slaves and work in the Americans land. Thus, it created boundaries between the Africans and the Americans.

Question 2    

The most interesting information was the issue of the emergence of the slave trade in the Atlantic World. It offers an understanding as to why slave trade existed and more so on the Atlantic Islands. Slave trade began at the Atlantic Islands where they were sold to other countries such Europe to offer human labor in their lands. During this period slave trade was so much encouraged thus, the existence of the slave trade in the Atlantic Islands (Carson, Lapsansky-Werner, & Nash, 2007). Moreover, the slave trade was encouraged since human labor was required in the European plantations. For instance, Portugal emphasized on slave trade so that the slaves would work on the sugar farms. Thus, slave trade began in the Atlantic Islands off the West Coast of Africa. On the other hand, the least interesting was the issue of the Sale of slaves to the Americans. In this trade, most of the Africans died, and those who survived were physically and psychologically tortured. They were demoralized and sent to the fields whereby they struggled much for survival. Thus, they were sent on chattels for sale where they moved to North America.  

Question 3    

According to the new trend, Africans rather than Europeans were most responsible for the transatlantic slave trade. It is because the majority of the Africans slave trade produced a significant number of slaves who had been sold out by other West Africans to the European slave traders. Moreover, a majority of people moved away from their countries during the colonial period. They settled in the West Africa whereby they started being sold to the European nations. The Portuguese created market for the slaves in the European continent whereby they used the slaves to work on their farms. However, the demand for slave raiding in European countries decreased which left Portuguese with little reason slave raiding in Africa. On the other hand, the Portuguese began sugar farming and used the slaves to plow their fields. It contributed to the emergence of the slave trade in the transatlantic Islands.  Thus, it is believed that slaves trade begun in Africa rather than in the European countries.


Carson, C., Lapsansky-Werner, E. J., & Nash, G. B. (2007). The struggle for freedom: A history of African Americans. New York: Pearson Longman.