The world has a rich history of slavery extending from the past to present day. Although present day slavery is seen for the most part as an abomination to human life, the past tells a tale of a different story; a story that often seems as though slavery was justified and accepted. This paper seeks to provide a brief history of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. It is intended to help educate the reader and develop a perspective on whether or not slavery was a justifiable commodity given the time period. Alternately, it may lead to the conclusion that the triangular trade route was developed by early day entrepreneurs whose intellectual dishonestly allowed the slave trade practice to prevail for centuries.
Aquinas’s probable view on the slave trade in 19th Century Looking at Aquinas viewpoint on slavery and his theory of just law and unjust law, it’s quite likely that he would have abhorred the African slave trade in the nineteenth century. It certainly cannot be considered as the form of natural slavery as they did not need to be enslaved for the sake of their own benefit. The forcible removal of Africans form their native land and being transported to southern United States was clearly not beneficial for them but was perhaps only beneficial for the slave traders and rich farmers who needed them for slave labour. They also did not have any debts to repay as form of justifying their slavery to the Southerners. It was a practice clearly financially
Especially, Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade (Triangular Slave Trade) not only highly affected the continent but also left it with sophisticated disputes for the continuing generation because it depopulated the continent and morally undermined the peoples. Since the 18th century, even though some European governments had attempted to be abolished slave trade activities by laws; the more bad condition (colonization) could come to replace the slave trade and other trade activities. The reason is that the objective of the slave trade was to use African labor outside Africa; whereas that of colonization was to exploit their labor on their own land, in Africa, and to get the market for industrial commodities. Colonization affected the African histories, cultures and traditions and identities, and shaped the societies with European modes of life. Due to this, Africans were considered as uncivilized societies that had already psychologically and morally marginalized the people.
The trade was supposedly beneficial for the 3 sides, but only 2 sides benefited with the third being superficially helpful. The slave trade started in Africa with Europeans cutting deals with African Merchants on the Coastal Tribes and countries. The deals consisted of exchange of young able-bodied male slaves in their prime in return for guns and manufactured goods. The merchants saw this as an opportunity
Although it’s true that by the 1950s, European empires were in decline as African leaders were successfully forcing an end to colonial rule, the absence of the European empires still has a huge effect on how African governments and societies are governed and ran. The European empires leaving the continent of Africa is ultimately good for Africa in the long run, however I feel as though the colonizing countries owe something to their African colonies. For European colonizers to simply take over African countries, utilize their people and resources for profit, and then leave them all alone after being driven out is incredibly unfair. For a statement to say that the influence of Western powers on the continent “dwindled because, out of respect for the interests of the majority of Africans, Western nations and multinational corporations have chosen not to maintain ties with independent African states”, discredits everything that the African countries and citizens had to go through during the colonization period. It makes it sound as though the Europeans used the African countries, left, and didn’t try to repay them in any way.
The fate of Africa was in the European hands! As a result, Africans had a wide range of actions and reactions towards European imperialism. Some Africans tried to resist by using diplomacy that aimed to maintain peace with the Europeans. In other cases, some fled the European imperialism and others decided to fight back in a violent way. To begin with, many Africans did not want to engage in violence with Europeans instead they used diplomacy.
It denounces the unacceptable attitude of the King and the British nobility towards slavery. Through his writings, and despite being a slaveholder himself, Jefferson severely condemned the enslavement of African Americans in Northern States (but he would paradoxically allow it in the Southern States). Upon reading the excerpt above, the Congress decided to remove it from the Declaration. Why? Many landowners still used slavery for the cheap and quick labor it provided.
In the late 18th century, southern slaveholders relied on the institution of slavery for their economic prosperity. Despite the fact that slavery went against religious principles, along with the principles of democracy, the slaveholders had to find a way to justify it because of their reliance on it. They justified slavery through racism by explaining that it does not go against the principles of democracy because Africans are an inferior people who are "suited" for slavery. The slaveholders referred to it as a "positive good" because of the class distinctions it gives and the guarantee of equality for whites it provides since they will not have to do the work slaves do. Another part of their reasoning was that if men in the north use "wage slavery", the exploitation of workers in the factories, then southerners should be free to keep the normal slavery.
They traded manufactured goods like weapons and rum in return for African prisoners, debtors, and captured rival soldiers. The African kings and merchant thought of this exchange as “win-win situation”. For example, Anthony Hazard says the kings and merchant “had little reason to hesitate” (The Atlantic slave trade: What too few textbooks told you - Anthony Hazard). However, this simple mistake of giving the European an idea of what the African slaves could of been-making the Europeans one of the most powerful names in history. In addition, Europeans later took control of the Atlantic Slave Trade by trading slaves to North Americas, South America, and the Caribbeans.
This statement by Oroonoko when he is surrounded by the Europeans, is meant to be a display of how Oroonoko sees only two options: either he is allowed to be treated as an equal, whereby he can leave, or he dies. As the first option has already been exhausted, he feels cheated, and will therefore not give the Englishmen the satisfaction of taking him back to the plantation. This perspective that Oroonoko has is likely based on his past dealings with slave traders whilst he was the one selling people into slavery. Specifically, this is due to the notion that enslavement did not directly result in a lack of proper treatment, for some individuals of the seventeenth century viewed a human life to be too valuable to destroy on the grounds that they were a different race (Rogers 8-9). Thus, this notion is once more reinforcing the value of human agency over racial discrimination.