The Economics Of The Slave Trade Essay


¶ … Atlantic Slave Trade From 1650 Onward Although slavery had existed throughout human history, the Atlantic slave trade possessed certain unique qualities which gave rise to an equally unique and economically profitable form of slavery from the 17th century onward. The Atlantic slave trade was also called the Triangle Trade: "Ships carried European manufactures to Africa and exchanged them for slaves, who were then taken to the Americas, where they were traded for sugar, molasses, cotton, tobacco, indigo and other goods, which were brought back to Europe."[footnoteRef:1] Although the Portuguese began the trade, it was primarily the economies of the U.S. and Great Britain which generated its development. [footnoteRef:2] [1: William Hardy, "The Rise and Fall of the Slave Trade," Open University, February 25, 2014, (accessed December 28, 2015)] [2: Ibid.]

The slave trade was fueled by the creation of a 'cash crop' system whereby slaves were used not simply to supplement household labor as they were in urban areas but to support entire economies with their coerced labor. In the 17th century, "the creation of ever-larger sugar plantations and the introduction of other crops such as indigo, rice, tobacco, coffee, cocoa, and cotton would lead to the displacement of an...


"Having reached the Americas, those who survived the crossing faced a life of slavery on colonial plantations. Here, they were denied their freedom and dignity, and were treated with considerable brutality by their masters. Attempts by slaves to run away, and on occasion to revolt, were signs of their continued suffering."[footnoteRef:4] Slaves lost the ability to freely form families, speak their language, and observe cultural traditions although many tried to do so in secret. [3: "The Development of the Trade," New York Public Library,;jsessionid=f8302520121451320645041?migration=1&topic=2&bhcp=1 (accessed December 28, 2015)] [4: Hardy]
As well as plantation owners, slave traders, shipbuilders, and many other professions benefited from the slave trade. Consumers also enjoyed access to cheaper and a wider range of goods. Great Britain outlawed the slave trade in 1807 but it has been speculated that the fact that "British slave plantations of the West Indies [were] already in economic decline before the…

Sources Used in Documents:


"1807: Congress abolishes the African slave trade." 2009. (accessed December 28, 2015)

"The Development of the Trade." New York Public Library.;jsessionid=f8302520121451320645041?migration=1&topic=2&bhcp=1 (accessed December 28, 2015) (accessed December 28, 2015) (accessed December 28, 2015)

Cite this Document:

"The Economics Of The Slave Trade" (2015, December 28) Retrieved June 18, 2024, from

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"The Economics Of The Slave Trade", 28 December 2015, Accessed.18 June. 2024,

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