Zamba Zembola's The Atlantic Slave Trade

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.Atlantic Slave Trade: Supported Opinion Paper

Slavery has been evident from very the early stages of life, from the ancient times, to today in which illegal manners still take place. However, during the 16th to the 19th century, millions of Africans were captured, beaten, tortured and killed due to the major demand in the need for labour while Europeans decided to settle into the new world. The captains of the transporting ships have a major role in supporting the slavery business, while proving their fault and immense guilt throughout the many accounts and statements made by witnesses and slaves themselves. Their ethical stance, economic conditions and social forces play a role into the push for slaves and their gruesome transportation
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The captains of the ships were greedy as they packed on hundreds of slaves into dense ships and carried them on voyages to the new world. The captains wanted to maximize their profits, putting in as many slaves in the ship as possible. According to Zamba Zembola in her The Life and Adventures of Zamba and African Slave in 1847, she states that “it was found that 15 of them were smothered or crushed to death. The captain seemed considerably vexed; but the only grievance to him was the sudden loss of some five or six thousand dollars”. The captains valued their profits more than the human lives on the ships. It was evident that the captains perspective of the Africans were negative, in which they viewed them as lesser than them. Gad Heuman and James Walvin state in their 2003 account of The Atlantic Slave Trade that the slaves were “a valuable investment” and that they “died not only from disease and accident, but from rebellion, suicide, and natural disasters”. This showcases the captains guilt from the inhumane treatment of the slaves when they were feeling ill. As time went on, many slaves fell sick due to the spread of diseases in the tightly packed ships. The captains knew of this problem but refused to attend to it, instead filling their ships with more slaves to gain…show more content…
England was very prominent in establishing social classes that emphasized attaining as much wealth as possible. This would maintain their high social class and to highly represent themselves. Consequently, the captains would reveal their socialist behaviours by controlling the voyages in inhumane ways. According to Thomas Clarkson’s Essay on the Slave Trade, it is described that the slaves had “complain[ed] of heat” (1789) and that the sailor who worked on the ship had “seen them fainting, almost dying for want of water” (1789). The captains of the ship completely disregarded the rights of the slaves as they were treated as “black cattle” (James Irving, letter to Mary Irving 1786) and that the “kings and principal men bred Negroes for sale as [they] [did] cattle” (Alexander Falcolnbridge, An Account of the Slave Trade on the Coast of Africa 1790). This demonstrates the crude treatment the slaves encountered whilst on the ships as they were often compared to cattle. However, the African slaves were not the only people experiencing this treatment. The sailors and crew on the ship consistently faced hardships from the captains. Many fell ill to the diseases that were passed around by the slaves while still experiencing abuse from the captains themselves

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