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The Slave Trade And Its Effects On Early America

1509 words - 7 pages

This is a quality paper. It was for a 17th century America Topic. Few punctuation errors and such.Slavery played an important role in the development of the American colonies. Itwas introduced to the colonies in 1619, and spanned until the EmancipationProclamation in 1863. The trading of slaves in America in the seventeenth century was alarge industry. Slaves were captured from their homes in Africa, shipped to Americaunder extremely poor conditions, and then sold to the highest bidder, put to work, andforced to live with the new conditions of America.There was no mercy for the slaves and their families as they were captured fromtheir homes and forced onto slave ships. Most of the Africans ...view middle of the document...

Selection of the slaves by the traders was a painstaking process. Ships fromEngland would pull up on the coast of Africa, and the captains would set off towards thecoast on small ships. "If the slave trader was a black chief, there always had to be acertain amount of palaver, or talk, before getting down to business. As a rule, the chiefwould expect some presents, or dash" (Stampp, 26). Once the palaver was over, theslaves had to be inspected. The captain of the ship usually had a doctor who wouldcheck the condition of the slaves. They would carefully examine the slaves, looking intheir mouths, poking at their bodies, and making them jump around. This was done sothat the doctor could see how physically fit the slaves were. If the slaves were not of thedoctors standards, they were either killed or kept to see if another ship would take them.In the 1600's, the journey across the Atlantic for the African slaves was a horribleone. It was extremely disease-ridden, and many slaves did not survive the journey. Thepeople were simply thrown into the bottom of the ship and had to survive the best theycould. Often, many slaves had to wait in the bottom of the ship while they were stilldocked at the harbor, so that the traders could gather up more and more slaves. Therewere usually 220 to 250 slaves in each ship. Then they had to stay down there for thelong trip across the Atlantic Ocean to the New World. "Women and children wereallowed to roam at large, but the men were attached by leg irons to chains that ran alongthe ship's bulwarks. After a breakfast of rice or cornmeal or yams, with perhaps a scrapof meat thrown in, and a little water, there came the ceremony of "dancing the slaves" -acompulsory form of exercise designed, it was said, for the captive's physical and mentalwell being" (Howard, 23). Even though there was ventilation, the air in the crowdedhold area quickly grew foul and stinking. Fierce tropical heat also added to the misery ofthe slaves. Seasickness was also a problem.Conditions on the ships improved as the slave trade continued, but thousands ofAfricans still lost their lives on the journey to the new world. When slaves would try torebel on the ship, they were immediately killed and thrown overboard. Some slavespreferred death over slavery. Watching their chance while on deck, they often jumpedoverboard to drown themselves (Davis, 67).Africans were brought to America to work. "They worked the cotton plantationsof Mississippi and in the tobacco fields of Virginia, in Alabama's rich black belt, inLouisiana's sugar parishes, and in the disease-ridden rice swamps of...

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