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Triangular Trade Essay

1462 words - 6 pages

The Triangular Trade was a trading system established by Europeans to transport their goods from Europe. They would then trade their goods for people that were in Africa and then the people, now African American slaves, would be transported to the Americas where they would endure a lifetime of servitude. Millions of Africans were kidnapped from their homeland to help meet the supply and demand for slaves in the Americas and the surrounding areas. However African Americans took action to help stop this institution and to help save their people from enduring horrible hardships overseas. Although the Triangular Trade helped increase the number of African Americans destined to be slaves in the ...view middle of the document...

Other countries had colonized other territories such as the Caribbean (early 1500s), Barbados (1625), Jamaica (1655), and the newly discovered North America (1619) where the slave trade would later explode in the eighteenth century.
This trade had three stages: In the first ‘European merchants took their goods such as knives, jewelry, cloths, spirits, tobacco, metalware, guns, and metal bars to Africa to exchange them for slaves.’ The second stage required the merchants to purchase the slaves and once acquired the merchants would then take these slaves on the Middle Passage, across the Atlantic Ocean, where they would travel to the Americas and exchange the slaves for goods such as cotton, rum, and sugar. The third and final stage in the Triangular tTrade was for the European merchants to take their goods (from trading the slaves) and go back to Europe. With the triangle complete, ‘European capital, African labour and American land and resources combined to supply a European market.’
The Triangular Trade only lasted until the nineteenth century and was discontinued after the abolition of slavery in 1870. The first of the Triangular Trading countries to abolish slavery was the British in 1807 when Parliament ruled in illegal throughout the entire British empire which included all colonies. The next step was when ‘The Congress of Vienna, [after] making peace at the end of the Napoleonic Wars [1815], agreed to abolish the slave trade.’ Participants of The Congress of Vienna were Austria, Great Britain, Russia, Prussia, and France with all agreeing to end slavery in their respective countries. However, even though these countries abolished slavery illegal trading continued for another sixty years with almost a quarter of the slave population being transported during those years. The final end to the slave trade was the American Civil War that ended slavery for good in 1870.
Millions of Slaves
Many countries like Britain, Spain, and Portugal had established ports along the West African Coast essentially making it easier for them to capture African Americans and ship them to America where they would then be sold into slavery. The first Africans to be captured started from the mainland and as the slave trade grew Europeans began to count on African tribes to bring the slaves to them as they would rarely venture away from the coast due to the inland of Africa being riddled with diseases. More Africans were captured during raids along the coast but some of them were even sold by their own people into slavery. Of the millions of Africans sold into slavery almost all were kidnapped and very few were sold into slavery by their tribes, prisoners of war, debts, or as punishment when committing a crime.
Most ‘African states along the coast were powerful enough to protect themselves from aggression and to negotiate trade terms.’ Many Africans condoned the institution of slavery but were pressured by Europeans to give into their demands. Some tribes would...

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