What is slavery? Africans became slaves in several different ways. Describe three ways in which Africans became slaves. (10 marks) Slavery is the act or institution of which an individual is held. So therefore, that individual is a slave. A slave is someone who is held against his or her will and forced to work without pay. Slavery was present in West Africa before the Europeans went there; the only difference was that the black people were slaves to other black people. In 1493 the Portuguese claimed three islands in the Gulf of Guinea and developed African plantation slavery.
The Africans were first tested for labor in tropical heat, and when they were found suitable, the first set of slaves went to Portugal and from there to the New World. After that the Portuguese dealing with African slaves changed. The first recorded transportation of African slaves to the West Indies was in 1501 but it was still too early for plantation slavery and therefore cannot be considered the beginning of the slave trade. The slave trade was carried out for approximately 300 years. It began in 1508 and ended in 1808. This marked the official beginning of the transatlantic slave trade.
One way that an African might become a slave is during slave raids. A typical raid would happen in the night when all the villagers were sleeping. The village huts would be set on fire purposely by the Europeans and the villagers would run out screaming. While trying to escape they were caught and tied to a slave coffle. Those who were young and healthy were taken and those who were sickly and old were left behind. Another way that Africans would become slaves is if they had to pay off debts. If a man murdered someone, he could become a slave as a way of paying for what he did.
Even if I child stole something, they could become a slave until the debt was paid off. A third way that an African could become a slave is if there was a famine. If they had plenty children, and not much food to feed them, they could put their children in another household to be fed. Their children would then have to work for their food, having no choice because they have to eat. There is many other ways that you the Africans became slaves but I only mentioned a few. Those who were captured in tribal raids were taken to the coast in a coffle and their journey from then began.