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Middle Passage Essay

1054 words - 5 pages

In the beginning of the 1600's and towards the ending of the 1800's millions of innocent people were grabbed and torn away from their homelands leaving their independence behind. Primarily African men, women, and children were traded, as if they were dirt; being shipped and sold. Once sold, they were mostly forced to do very laborious jobs such as plantation workers and factory workers. The middle passage, also known as part of the triangular trade route included Europe, Africa, and the Americas. The middle passage contained many goods being traded and sold throughout it such as weapons, food, raw materials, and slaves. The middle passage was a very dreadful time period for Africans.
The middle passage was one of three parts of the triangular slave trade. The first was England sending Africa good such as guns, cloth, beer, and iron. Africa would than send slaves to the Caribbean Islands; the middle passage and send gold, ivory, spices and hardwood to England. Than the Americans would send England many goods such as; whale oil, lumber furs, rice, silk, indigo tobacco, sugar, molasses, and wood and also send Africa rum, iron, gunpowder, cloth and tools.
Before the unpredictable high-risk voyage even begins these men, women, and children that were caught in their homeland and stripped of all their dignity and individuality are put into dungeons waiting for a ship that will take them to a place that will drastically change their lives as they will become slaves; property; objects. The voyage from Africa to the Caribbean Islands would take a few weeks depending on the weather majorly; roughly 3-6 weeks. The captains of these ships had mostly two different ways of shipping their "cargo". One was called "loose packing" which was the captains thinking, less slaves per ship means lesser chance of disease spreading and them dying which in return means more live and are in better condition which means more cash per slave. The other way that captains packed their ships was called "tight packing" which is putting as many slaves in the ship as possible, the reasoning behind this way was, more slaves must mean more money even though more will die from disease they hope that in the long run it'll pay off better. They would pack them so tightly together that there was no room to move and the rocking of the ship, especially during storms, it would scrape the elbows and wrists, sometimes even to the bone from such vicious seas.
The captains were known for their brutality and treated even his crew harshly which consisted mostly of men who have been in prison or fugitives from justice. The ship itself was very unsanitary and people cramped together. On normal ships the space between deck levels were roughly five feet but on slave ships they made another deck to stack more slaves and this made it so there was less than thirty inches of headroom space for the slaves, there was no room for them to even sit-up, they were only able to lay there on the rough...

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