The Slave Trade Before and After 1550 Term Paper by Nicky

The Slave Trade Before and After 1550
An examination of the slave trade in and between Europe and Africa before and after 1550.
# 148791 | 1,988 words | 7 sources | MLA | 2011 | US
Published on Nov 06, 2011 in African-American Studies (Slavery) , European Studies (General)

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The paper explores how the slave trade was practiced in Europe and Africa before 1550, in comparison to the slave trade in and between the two regions after 1550, and also examines the main differences between the two periods in terms of their origins, motivations and effects on African society. The paper finds that prior to 1550, slaves were sold to the 'Old World' of Europe however, following approximately 1550, the slave trade business concentrated on selling slaves to the 'New World' or that of the American continent. The paper discusses how after 1550, when the demand for slaves began on the American continent, the slave trade business exploded and many of the slaves who were shipped across the Atlantic died from diseases or simply from the journey itself. The paper also notes the forts and castles that were used to house those captured to be sold into slavery that demonstrate how the involvement of Africans in the slave trade business was great indeed.

ISlave Trade Prior to 1550
Slave Trade After 1550
Commercial Motives of Europeans
Who 'Really' Controlled the Slave Trade
How Patterns of Trade Were Set
Summary and Conclusion

From the Paper:

"Economic relations existed between Europe and Africa from the time of the landing of the Portuguese and in 1441 it is reported that ten Africans were kidnapped from the cost of Guinea and take to Prince Henry the Navigator as gifts. Expeditions following this one to the West African coast resulted in individuals being taken and sold as slaves. The Portuguese were the first European nation to make contact of a sustained nature with sub-Saharan Africa. Slaves taken from Africa in the beginning were taken to Europe and sold for use as domestic slaves however, during this period the demand for slaves was limited and was only a portion of the trade involving many other commodities. The indigenous population of Africa was initially used by the Spanish and Portuguese for purposes of manual labor. From the beginning of their relations those existing between Europe and African were economic in nature.
"The early plans of Prince Henry for Africans was to provide them with education and to civilize them however, when Henry died in 1460, more than "eight hundred Africans were exported to Portugal annually and sold on arrival at the Lisbon dock as slaves." (Sesay, 1986) Prince Henry did not support such actions however successive kings and princes did support this practice."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Bailey, Ann Caroline. African voices of the Atlantic slave trade: beyond the silence and the shame. Beacon Press, 2005
  • Petre-Grenouilleau, Oliver. From slave trade to empire: Europe and the colonization of Black Africa, 1780s-1880s. Routledge, 2004.
  • Sesay, Amudu. Africa and Europe: from partition to interdependence or dependence? Routledge, 1986.
  • Emmer, P.C. The Dutch slave trade, 1500-1850. Berghahn Books, 2006.
  • Thomas, Hugh. The slave trade: the story of the Atlantic slave trade, 1440-1870. Simon and Schuster, 1999.

Cite this Term Paper:

APA Format

The Slave Trade Before and After 1550 (2011, November 06) Retrieved December 01, 2020, from

MLA Format

"The Slave Trade Before and After 1550" 06 November 2011. Web. 01 December. 2020. <>