The Atlantic slave trade: What too few textbooks told you – Anthony Hazard

The Atlantic slave trade: What too few textbooks told you – Anthony Hazard

Slavery, the treatment of human beings as property,
deprived of personal rights, has occurred in many forms
throughout the world. But one institution stands out for
both its global scale and its lasting legacy. The Atlantic slave trade, occurring from the late 15th
to the mid 19th century and spanning three continents, forcibly brought more than 10 million Africans
to the Americas. The impact it would leave affected
not only these slaves and their descendants, but the economies and histories
of large parts of the world. There had been centuries of contact
between Europe and Africa via the Mediterranean. But the Atlantic slave trade
began in the late 1400s with Portuguese colonies in West Africa, and Spanish settlement
of the Americas shortly after. The crops grown in the new colonies,
sugar cane, tobacco, and cotton, were labor intensive, and there were not enough settlers
or indentured servants to cultivate all the new land. American Natives were enslaved,
but many died from new diseases, while others effectively resisted. And so to meet the massive
demand for labor, the Europeans looked to Africa. African slavery had existed
for centuries in various forms. Some slaves were indentured servants, with a limited term
and the chance to buy one’s freedom. Others were more like European serfs. In some societies, slaves could
be part of a master’s family, own land, and even rise
to positions of power. But when white captains came offering
manufactured goods, weapons, and rum for slaves, African kings and merchants
had little reason to hesitate. They viewed the people they sold
not as fellow Africans but criminals, debtors,
or prisoners of war from rival tribes. By selling them, kings enriched
their own realms, and strengthened them
against neighboring enemies. African kingdoms prospered
from the slave trade, but meeting the European’s massive demand
created intense competition. Slavery replaced other criminal sentences, and capturing slaves
became a motivation for war, rather than its result. To defend themselves from slave raids, neighboring kingdoms
needed European firearms, which they also bought with slaves. The slave trade had become an arms race, altering societies and economies
across the continent. As for the slaves themselves,
they faced unimaginable brutality. After being marched
to slave forts on the coast, shaved to prevent lice, and branded, they were loaded onto ships
bound for the Americas. About 20% of them
would never see land again. Most captains of the day
were tight packers, cramming as many men
as possible below deck. While the lack of sanitation
caused many to die of disease, and others were thrown
overboard for being sick, or as discipline, the captain’s ensured their profits
by cutting off slave’s ears as proof of purchase. Some captives took matters
into their own hands. Many inland Africans
had never seen whites before, and thought them to be cannibals, constantly taking people away
and returning for more. Afraid of being eaten,
or just to avoid further suffering, they committed suicide
or starved themselves, believing that in death,
their souls would return home. Those who survived
were completley dehumanized, treated as mere cargo. Women and children were kept above deck
and abused by the crew, while the men were made to perform dances in order to keep them exercised
and curb rebellion. What happened to those Africans
who reached the New World and how the legacy of slavery
still affects their descendants today is fairly well known. But what is not often discussed is the effect that the Atlantic slave trade
had on Africa’s future. Not only did the continent lose
tens of millions of its able-bodied population, but because most of the slaves
taken were men, the long-term demographic
effect was even greater. When the slave trade was finally
outlawed in the Americas and Europe, the African kingdoms whose economies
it had come to dominate collapsed, leaving them open
to conquest and colonization. And the increased competition
and influx of European weapons fueled warfare and instability
that continues to this day. The Atlantic slave trade also contributed
to the development of racist ideology. Most African slavery had no deeper reason
than legal punishment or intertribal warfare, but the Europeans
who preached a universal religion, and who had long ago
outlawed enslaving fellow Christians, needed justification for a practice so obviously at odds
with their ideals of equality. So they claimed that
Africans were biologically inferior and destined to be slaves, making great efforts
to justify this theory. Thus, slavery in Europe and the Americas
acquired a racial basis, making it impossible for slaves
and their future descendants to attain equal status in society. In all of these ways, the Atlantic slave trade
was an injustice on a massive scale whose impact has continued
long after its abolition.


  1. The face of African slavery in Qajar Iran – in pictures (like house slaves) History of Islam and Muhammad by John Allembillah Azumah –

  2. I take it this is a basis of teaching of the far right. Reason being, it's way off and nowhere near the truth. But maybe it was just a snippet for quick super bias teaching. I dont know! I could go for that.🙄🙄🙄😶😶😶

  3. They never mention that African tribal leaders sold their own people! do you expect me to believe they trapped and whacked millions of people in the head and shanghaied them. Please, I didn’t hatch yesterday. Plus do you know what the average African income is according to google, $5.60 per day. The poorest of poor in USA live better than most Africans in all the nations of Africa (section 8, Medicaid, SNAP food, etc .). My grandparents were poor as dirt and barely could warm the house with cheap coal and many whites today in USA live well below “ poverty” level. You won’t get any crying from me as I watch pro athletes and entertainers make millions a year and minorities driving a Mercedes and BMW’s in my “hood.”!

  4. The brave new modern world needed em … Industrial Age ushered in the civil war.. we as Americans fixed it then

  5. While a lot of this is true, some of it is completely false. I have actual, authentic letters from slaves, from the years around 1840. I can't wait to get these so I can show everyone that they're completely wrong about slavery.

  6. They seems to add a century to the narrative with every new version of the story! I guess when you are making up you can do what you want!

  7. BS. Hebrew israelites were sold not by other Africans but Shemites the real jews of the bible…WS SPEWING lies. We were in Egypt and Moses took to the promised land which was called Judah land even on maps. So if you got any sense don't listen to this….

  8. Capitalism is a bit of a snake pit.
    But of course snakes are not immoral or out to profit at any cost,
    so this is an unfair and stigmatizing comparison for reptiles…

    Reptilian theme in Vigelandsparken Park, Oslo Norway


  10. Not surprised at all the negative comments seems like everyone is shifting the blame. Slavery was is and will forever will be wrong no matter what, and the worst part about it is it’s lasting effects on today’s society.

  11. Come on man how can you take tens of millions of people from One land to another without any type of motor any type of refrigeration of food for that many people. Where is your documents to show how many people they could put on board. Not making much sense if you really think about it. Now saying slavery was it a big deal cuz it definitely was but those numbers don't add up. Why would you bring tens of millions of people to a new land that you're not even accustomed to when they can Dethrone you not that much mind control. Just my opinion like I said not saying I don't take slavery seriously. How do you take a man from an unknown land and tell them to row crop in different climates that they're not even, as a matter fact you're not even used to🤔🤷🏾‍♂️

  12. Left out .. the slaves were of the tribe of Judah

    Decendents of the real children of Israel..
    . Khazars were the biggest slavers

  13. How do we know what this man says is true? History is written buy the Victors don't believe anything a white person tells you online….this is 2019 and we know of fake news , the world is different, knowledge is everywhere

  14. If you was looking for pitty this guy has got you covered 😆 joke… Slavery existed everywhere during that time ..

  15. The usual arrangement of the nobility in Europe, having people to work their land in hopes of possible food after “taxes”, or be tortured/killed for showing a spine to the noble class was hard to reproduce in America. De facto slavery, tho.
    In Czarist Russia they were actually included as property in the title to land, and bought n sold in newspapers of the time. Czar Nicholas ended that on a 30yr plan in 1861, for some reason.
    There is some fairly unbelievable brutality in history, by today’s standards.

  16. The video was good, but I think it was too America based. People seem to forget that New World all had slaves and slavery, especially in the Caribbean where most worked till death.

  17. Slavery was begun by Egyptians who captured other African tribes as well as Hebrew tribes, who later enslaved Blacks centuries later. It has existed since time began. Back and forth for millennia…!

  18. There are 2 problems with this video.

    1. Not all Europeans are white

    2. They did not enslave Africans because of their skin color

  19. Part of this video misstates what happened to the Indigenous people in America. They didn't "resist", they were nearly eliminated by slaughter by colonists bc they fought for their land. And also, not sure many Africans were sold for weapons. I believe if Africans were getting so many weapons from colonists, perhaps colonization of many parts of Africa would have been stopped or significantly reduced… Think a revised video is needed.

  20. Blacks don't no how to lead they need to be directed in kindness.There going to wreck South Africa ANC.So much couruptionion.And somehow it's still the earopeans culture.that gets the blame.triple priced electricity.No water soon come on let the earopeans do there job.

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