The Atlantic Slave Trade and Colonization

In the 1950’s Liverpool was the primary slave trade center in England. Several prominent people had involved themselves in this trade. These were among others, councilors and mayors.  The names of the streets in the city are one of the greatest landmarks of the slave trade in Liverpool. This are names such as Maryland, Jamaica and Baltimore Streets. These were the places where slaves were being sold and where the plantations that they used to work were.

The parliament scraped a monopoly of slave trade by Royal Africa Company allowing Liverpool merchants to thrive in the trade.  This was a 1698 event. The easy access to the African continent through the see and farther to America contributed to easy growth of slave trade in Liverpool. In addition, the market for the agricultural goods found at the rest of England enhanced slave trade. These were the goods from America brought in the return journey. 

The slave trade grew from the ties that the merchants of Liverpool established with the colonies in America. In the 1940’s they brought tobacco from America and started bringing sugar in the 1960’s (Horton 2000). This grew along side slave trade. The more the slaves they took to the American colonies, the more sugar and tobacco they would bring back to Europe. This encouraged them to engage more in slave trade.

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Abolition of the slave trade

The main factors that lead to the abolishment of the transatlantic slave trade were resistance from the African people, economical factors and campaigns from humanitarians.   In Britain, William Wilberforce and Thomas Clarkson are the ones who vigorously went public with the campaigns against slave trade.  In fact, “Wilberforce (1759-1833) led the British parliamentary campaign to abolish the slave trade and slavery” (International slavery museum, 2010).

In the same period, the opinion of people across Europe was rapidly changing. Many people were gaining attitude against slave trade based on moral, religious and humanitarian thinking. Many people were involved and established societies such as “the society for effecting the abolition of the slave trade of 1787” (International slavery museum, 2010).  For some who were in Liverpool, like William Roscoe, only worked behind scenes because they were in regions that were pro- slave trade. They captured the peoples attitude in favor of the abolitions through poetry and writing leaflets with topics that encouraged the abolition of the slave trade. They would not openly come to public because they would receive brutal resistance.

The people who benefited from slave trade also joined the campaigns against it. This accelerated the process and made it to be easier to end it. The government gave about £20 million to such people for compensation for the loss of their slaves, though they did not compensate the slaves.  The abolition in Britain and other countries was in 1807 but the trade went on illegally for up to 60 years albeit its illegalization. The trade was such a hazard to the African people for almost 25% of their population was enslaved by 1870. This illegal trade targeted the sugar plantation in Cuba and Brazil. Britain tried as much as possible to intervene by sending its naval force to guard the African coastlines. They were able to seize the slave ships and compensated others.

Economic interest was another fact that contributed to the ending of this slave trade. This factor was in play much with the merchants who traded in palm oil in the West African nations. They wanted to maintain their image and so the relationship with their counterparts in Africa.

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Impact of the slave trade

The economic impact of the slave trade was two way. One party that gained from slave trade and another party lost severely from the trade.  Some of the Africans hitherto feel the effects of their denied freedom.  Countries had their economies grow from the labor they obtained from slaves. It is no wonder that slave trade caused the American civil war. People from the Sothern USA were thriving from the labor of slaves. They fought with the northern states who wanted to abolish slave trade.  We have a group that had special interest with the African nations such as obtained agricultural goods from Africa. If slave trade would continue, their trade with the Africans for such goods would be at the verge of extinction.

Impacts of slave trade

There was social impact that we see from the transatlantic slave trade.  Several rights were not given to slaves. They lacked the freedom to move freely and do what they desired. We can infer from the post-American civil war the social impacts of this slave trade.  The reconstruction act made the people that the others considered ‘a no people’ to be a people. The government gave them a right to vote, to own property to and be educated. This reflects the mutual respect that exists among the citizens of the American nation today.

The cultural impact was adverse for the African slaves who were separated from their families. They lost their original cultures, the way of worship, their music and their language. Most of them who are in different parts of the world have now  acquired a culture that is neither theirs nor of the place they live (Spigmike, 2004). They are bonded and have a culture that insinuates defense of the slavery but not a genuine culture that naturally grows. In short, the slaves lost their culture completely.

Scramble for Africa

The main feature that that lead to the discovery of the African continent was the exploration by the people of the European continent. David Livingston and pinto Serpa are the most renowned explorers. They traversed the vast parts of Southern and central Africa. At 1835, the Europeans had mapped most of the African continent and were already establishing colonies.

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The things that helped them open up Africa for themselves are the technological advancement, industrialization in their homelands and medical advancements.  These facilitated exploration process by providing equipment that would help in the long distance voyage and establishing themselves in the various regions of Africa. Transport and communication enjoyed from the advancement n the technology. The part of medicine also helped a lot in making sure that the stayed protected from the tropical diseases.  

The Europeans established colonies targeting the most resourceful areas.  They took central and southern Africa because of the gold and diamond resources available there. Some parts o eastern and western Africa were agriculturally potential regions, so they also went and colonized most of these parts. 

The issue that caused resistance from the Africans is the kind of rule introduced on them by the whites. The most spectacular feature is the forced labor and the racial segregation that the whites had. As time went by, the Africans who had gone to various schools to help the white people in administration started organizing revolting groups. This went on until some of the European countries decided to give the Africans their freedom. After the Second World War, many African nations started fighting for independence. It is at this time that the European colonial powers freed their subjects to be independent and sovereign nations.

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