These changes in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries had many consequences in Africa and the Americas. The Transatlantic Slave Trade led to population changes, exchanges of goods and influence, social and political violence, and changed/started countless traditions. Over the course of the Transatlantic Slave trade, twelve million Africans were brought to the Americas as slaves and another four million died resisting capture or during the trip to the Americas- now referred to as the Middle Passage. One would assume that this- alongside the Islamic slave trade- would rapidly depopulate
Africa, but due to introduction of American crops, the overall population of Africa actually increased in early modern times. However, the regions closest to active slave ports, primarily Seneca and Angola, were severely affected (Gordon, page 562. ) Oh those taken, fifty percent of all slaves went to the West Indies. Roughly thirty-three percent went to Brazil. Only five percent went to North America. The remainder went to various places in Central and South America. However, in everywhere but North America, the slaves brought were primarily young men who died before ever reproducing.
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Turmoil was not new to Africa. Much like the Natives in the Americas, African tribes had had disagreements and wars long before and non-related to the Transatlantic Slave Trade. However, trade with Europeans Introduces guns to African tribes such as the Doomed. Once the tribe acquired guns, it used them to capture unarmed neighboring tribes and trade them to the Europeans for more guns (Gordon, page 563. ) This led to a large, strong military and little opposition as they had sold many members of the rival tribes into slavery.
Tribes like this acquired power via European trade during the slave trade. Guns were not the only things Africans acquired through trade with the Europeans. As previously mentioned, cultivation of foods from the Americas made population growth in Africa possible at this time by providing better nourishment than traditional African foods. In a not-even-remotely-fair exchange, slave labor made it possible for Americans to grow mass quantities of crops at home that made it all over the world through the global trade of the era (Gordon, page 556. Without these crops and the profits from these crops, growth of such a large, new society would have been impossible in such a short amount of time. New traditions also prospered at this time. By combining European and African concepts, new traditions were started, and some entirely different traditions adapted out of new situations. For example, in Angola- one of the regions affected most harshly by the slave trade- the area was left with a population of more than 2/3 women by 1800.
This led to increased polygamy in the area- taking more than one wife- because there was a shortage of men. Also due to the shortage of men, women began taking on male duties more frequently. (Gordon, page 563. ) In America, African slaves merged Christian aunts and ideals with African idols, ceremony, and witchcraft to create new styles of religion in protest of the Christianity forced upon them. Slaves also created new musical traditions by blending Christian religion, American plantation work themes, European languages, and African rhythms.
Besides music and religion, slaves combined their own heritage with European in language, folklore, food, home building, basket-weaving, and clay pots (Gordon, page 566-567. ) Abolitionists had moved for the end Of slavery basically since the creation of the slavery, but it was not until the profit in leaver’ began to lessen that their voices finally rang through. Slavery became less profitable for many reasons. For one, slavery was dangerous. Nobody simply submits to servitude- slaves fought it every step of the way.
Areas with many slaves had to have expensive military in the area in case of revolt. Also, even in low yield times, slaves had to be fed, so there was another expense. This made costs high. Plus, in the late 18th century, increased production of sugar in the Caribbean made sugar prices go down. That, combined with increased costs of fresh slaves by both European and African slave dealers dad slavery even less profitable. This is mildly ironic because in a way, slave holders contributed to their own downfall by being very efficient in the Caribbean and greedy in Africa.
Slaves and emancipated slaves also played a large part in petitioning for their own freedom. Aloud Equation was captured as a slave when he was ten years old. He was a slave first in the West Indies, then Virginia, then Pennsylvania. He fought with his master in the Seven Years’ War in Europe and was afterwards able to buy his own freedom after twenty one years of servitude. He then wrote an autobiography that as published in Britain and quickly became a bestseller.