The Transatlantic Slave Trade - AAME

Between 1750 and 1780, about 70% of the government's total income came from taxes on goods from its colonies. The money made on the Transatlantic Slave Trade triangle was vast and poured into Britain and other European countries involved in slavery, changing their landscapes forever. In Britain, those who had made much of their wealth from the trade built fine mansions, established banks such as the Bank of England and funded new industries.

An Overview of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade
Photo provided by Flickr

The limits of the regions shown here are “Senegambia,” anywhere north of the Rio Nunez. Sierra Leone region comprises the Rio Nunez to just short of Cape Mount. The Windward Coast is defined as Cape Mount south-east to and including the Assini river. The Gold Coast runs east of here up to and including the Volta River. Bight of Benin covers the Rio Volta to Rio Nun, and the Bight of Biafra, east of the Nun to Cape Lopez inclusive. West-central Africa is defined as the rest of the western coast of the continent south of this point, and south-eastern Africa anywhere from and to the north and east of the Cape of Good Hope. West-Central Africa was the largest regional departure point for captives through most the slave trade era. Regions closer to the Americas and Europe generated a relatively small share of the total carried across the Atlantic. Voyage length was determined as much by wind and ocean currents shown in Map 4 as by relative proximity of ports of embarkation and disembarkation.


British Involvement in the Transatlantic Slave Trade

Statues, street names, meeting houses and docks all hold clues to the history of the slave trade in your area.
Photo provided by Flickr

Before the Atlantic slave trade began and for two centuries thereafter, some African captives were taken to Europe as well as to the Atlantic islands and between African ports. It is hard to get precise estimates of these flows, but they were certainly much smaller than the trans-Atlantic traffic. Many of the captives involved in this traffic were subsequently carried to sugar plantations in the Old World.


Introduction to the history of the transatlantic slave trade, from the International Slavery Museum website

Estimates, based on records of voyages in the archives of port customs and maritime insurance records, put the total number of African slaves transported by European traders, to at least 12 million people.

5/10/2012 · Slavery has long existed in human societies, but the transatlantic slave trade is unique in terms of the destructive impact it had on Africa

British involvement expanded rapidly in response to the demand for labour to cultivate sugar in Barbados and other British West Indian islands. In the 1660s, the number of slaves taken from Africa in British ships averaged 6,700 per year. By the 1760s, Britain was the foremost European country engaged in the Slave Trade. Of the 80,000 Africans chained and shackled and transported across to the Americas each year, 42,000 were carried by British slave ships.

Conference paper - 'Ports of the Transatlantic slave trade' that Anthony Tibbles gave at the TextPorts conference, Liverpool, April 2000

The exact number of that took part in the Slave Trade will probably never be known but, in the 245 years between Hawkins first voyage and the abolition of the Slave Trade in 1807, merchants in Britain despatched about 10,000 voyages to Africa for slaves, with merchants in other parts of the British Empire perhaps fitting out a further 1,150 voyages.

Oct 05, 2012 · Slavery has long existed in human societies, but the transatlantic slave trade is unique in terms of the destructive impact it had on Africa

Slavery has long existed in human societies, but the transatlantic slave trade is unique in terms of the destructive impact it had on Africa. How did it shape the fortunes of an entire continent?