Reasons For The Transatlantic Slave Trade

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Why did British settlers in North America and the West Indies increasingly need to use slave labour between c. 1660 and 1807? Slavery is one of the most emotive issues in human history. Western slavery represented an aspect of the commodification of human beings for reasons of labor that is central to economic activity. From the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries European slavery was focused on the Atlantic world. There, labour was needed and labour was available but in different places. The need for labour sprang from the inherent demographic difference between the Americas and South Asia, from the impact of European expansion and from the specific labor tasks that the colonists required. The Atlantic slave trade paid much attention to the role of the slave trade in British North America and West Indian colonies. According to Kenneth Morgan (2007: 18) “the transatlantic slave trade was an important business enterprise within the British Empire for nearly a century and a half, from the restoration of the Stuart monarchy in 1660 until the trade was abolished in 1807”. In this period the slave trade and its capital turnover made a substantial contribution to the economic development of the British Empire. Despite the positive contribution of the slave trade, some historians had skeptical views about the benefits of the slave trade. This essay will discuss motives and reasons of why British settlers needing the slave labour in the period of growing British

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