The Atlantic Slave Trade Was A Complex System Essay

988 Words Nov 19th, 2014 4 Pages
The Atlantic Slave Trade was a complex system that delivered numerous horrifying experiences to millions of West Africans over a span of four hundred years. Although this trade was essentially a routine, for every similar component of the trade each group of Africans had their own unique experience. An example of a typical component with varying experiences is the middle passage and conditions upon slave ships during this journey. The middle passage is the voyage from West Africa to the new world and slave ships were a pivotal part of this voyage in its entirety. The survival rate of Africans was often indicative of conditions aboard. These conditions could be affected in part by the captain of the ship. Some captains are slightly concerned with the welfare of the slaves while other captains are simply concerned with providing a shipment of slaves and receiving payment. Often times a captain who is concerned with the well being of the slaves tends to pack his ship loosely while one merely concerned with profit would be more of a tight packer. Tight packers tend to over pack their ship with anticipation of high death rates. If there was a surplus a captain would sacrifice a certain number of individuals usually pre selected because they are weak or defiant. This can be seen in Amistad when the slaving crew shackled a group of slaves to a bag full of rocks and sent them overboard. Loose packing typically involved the exact number of slaves that a slaving crew set out to…

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