What Lay Behind The Horrors Of The Slave Trade? In this essay I would be examining what lay behind the horrors of the slave trade. This essay will include the countries that were involved in the slave trade, how they benefited from it and the power they had over the enslaved Africans. The slave trade worked in a triangle, between four continents: Europe, Africa, South America and North America.
Slave ships leave ports like London, Bristol and Liverpool for West Africa carrying manufactured goods like guns, alcohol, iron bars, which are traded for African men, women and children who had been captured by slave traders or bought from African chiefs on the West African coast. From Africa a ship full of slaves leaves to America and the West Indies, where they are sold to the highest bidder and that’s where families are separated. Once they have been bought, after that they belonged to the plantation owner.
Some refused to be enslaved and took their live, others run away and pregnant woman preferred to have an abortion than to raise their children into slavery. With the money made from the sale of enslaved Africans, goods such as sugar, coffee and tobacco were bought and taken back to Britain for sale. The ships were loaded with produce from the plantations for the voyage back home. For over 300 years, European countries forced Africans onto slave ships and transported them over the Atlantic Ocean but how did the people back in Britain get involved in the slave trade?
As the slave trade grew, numerous of people began to get involved or simply benefited from it. Banks and finance houses in Britain began to grow from the fees and the interest they earned from merchants who borrowed money for their voyages. Bristol and Liverpool became major ports for slave ships, handling cargoes they brought back and between 1700 and 1800, Liverpool’s population dramatically rose from 5,000 to 78,000. Others worked in factories that had been set up with the money from the slave trade.
The slave trade also provided various jobs back in Britain, many worked in factories which sold their goods to West Africa, and these goods will then be traded for slaves. Birmingham also included itself by having 4,000 gun makers with 100,000 guns a year People in Britain weren’t the only one who benefited from the slave trade, West African leaders involved in the trade also benefited by capturing and trading Africans to the Europeans because they are the one who got all the manufactured goods that were traded for slaves. The African chiefs were also benefited themselves with all the money that they got from trading Africans.
My view is that because of the benefits they had, it means that they were also involved and I think without them the trade wouldn’t of happened because they are the one who captured slave for the Europeans, therefore they made a path for the slave trade to happen. Lastly, the West Indies and the Americans were obviously involved because they are the ones who bought and owned the slaves for their plantations. Plantation owners who used slave labour to grow their crops and the fact that they didn’t have to pay the slave made them vast profits.
Often planters retired to Britain with the profits they made and had grand country houses already built for them. Some planter used their money wisely, to become MPs and others invested their profits in new factories and inventions wish helped to finance the Industrial Revolution. I would like to conclude that for me the biggest horrors that lay behind the slave trade is how other African traded their own kind for manufactured goods, how cruelly the Africans were treated on the slave ships and plantations and the power that the Europeans , the Americans, and some other Africans had over the slaves.
I also think that the slave trade was unnecessary, but all those four continents that were involved benefited from it one way or another as they all played important roles because without one, let say the West Indies and Americans, who would of bought all those slave? Or which plantations would the slaves have worked on? And the slave trade wouldn’t have been so successful or benefiting without one side of the triangle. Or without the slave we wouldn’t have what we have today but I still think the way they treated black people was out of order and shouldn’t had to happen in order for the countries to have wealth.