African slave trade by Europeans left continent underdeveloped
The Atlantic slave trade took place across the Atlantic Ocean between Africa and the Americas from the 15th through to the 19th centuries, which led to widespread death and suffering among the African slaves and helped European colonialists expand their wealth and power in the New World.
Also known as the Euro-American slave trade, it involved the transportation of various enslaved African people by European slave traders, mainly to the Americas.
The transatlantic slave trade had its beginning in the middle of the fifteenth century when Portuguese ships sailed down the West African coast.
The intention was to trade for gold and spices, but the voyagers found another even more valuable commodity—human beings. Over time, the destination of the slave trade changed from Europe to the Americas.
The First Atlantic system was the trade of enslaved Africans to, primarily, South American colonies of the Portuguese and Spanish empires.
The Second Atlantic system was the trade of slaves by mostly English, French and Dutch traders and investors. The main destinations of this phase were the Caribbean islands and central America.
Current estimates are that about 12 million Africans were shipped across the Atlantic to the Americas over a span of 400 years. Of those, roughly one-half million (or about 4.5 percent) were taken to mainland North America or what became the United States.
The role of slavery in promoting racist prejudice and ideology has been carefully studied in certain situations, especially in the US. The simple fact is that no people can enslave another for several centuries without coming out with a notion of superiority.
And when the colour and other physical traits of those peoples were quite different, it was inevitable that the prejudice would take a racist form.
Historians say the decrease in able-bodied people as a result of the Atlantic slave trade limited the ability of many African societies to cultivate land and develop.
Many scholars argue that the transatlantic slave trade, left Africa underdeveloped, demographically unbalanced, and vulnerable to future European colonization.
As the world marks 400 years since the first recorded African slaves arrived in North America, slavery remains a modern-day scourge. about 40 million people are estimated to be trapped in some form of slavery and forced labor, according to the United Nations.
Africa has the highest prevalence of slavery, with more than seven victims for every 1,000 people, according to a 2017 report by human rights group Walk Free Foundation and the International Labour Office.