History Hon. Document Based Question Essay For years people have blamed Europeans of the Early Modern Period for slavery, when truly it was not. At the very beginning of it all, lies the African businessman of the Early Modern Period. He just wants to make money, even if that means selling his own kind. That is the part people in history today forget, that Africans were sold by their own blood. Europeans during this time we’re searching for wealth; gold, silver, cotton, tobacco, etc. What they lacked was the workforce to harvest all these items.
The government or Gobroon Dynasty, our businessmen, seized the opportunity that was in front of them. Essentially, the Atlantic Slave Trade in Western Africa really boomed between 1650 and 1850 when the demand for slaves seemed to increase daily, according the Journal of African History. Acquiring slaves had gone from peaceful and civilized to aggressive and militarized. As stated in the Cambridge University press in 2000, society had found it acceptable to raid for supplies that could be used to buy slaves and slaves only.
The blame for Slavery can be placed on the natural human desire for wealth and power, which is essentially greed. When a human has the desire for wealth, they will try to obtain it by any means necessary. Even if a human has to sell their own flesh and blood, the only thing that matters is wealth. The participation of Africans in slave trade was voluntary; Europeans could have gotten their slaves from China or India or Mexico or anywhere else with an abundant workforce. In compliance with the Cambridge University Press in 1992, Europeans did not force the African leaders to sell slaves; they made that choice on their own.
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The mainstream view of slavery is what went on in the plantations of southern America, what usually does not get as much attention is what the Africans went through before they set foot on the boat. More than often, the enslaved Africans would spend an average of 11 weeks aboard the ship before living the inhumane life of a slave for the rest of their existence, according to The Cost of Coercion: African Agency in the Pre-Modern Atlantic World written by Stephen D. Behrendt, David Eltis and David Richardson. That point of the process is crucial in determining how the slave would be treated during the trip and on the plantation.
For example, if a slave was to lead a revolt while sailing aboard the ship, the slave trader could make sure that when the time comes to sell the leader of the revolt, he would be sold to a very cruel master. In accordance to recent articles, views of the Atlantic Slave Trade in Western Africa are starting to shift toward the very root of the industry. People are not so much looking at what happened in the United States of America but mostly at things up until that point. After reviewing all the articles, I can see how important what happened before the boat ride is important.
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