West African Slave Trade Map

Estimate the number of slaves that were brought to the southern United States and to all of the Caribbean islands from 1701 and 1810.
Source for the map: Third World Atlas by Alan Thomas.

Answers:
United States -- less than 500,000; Caribbean -- between 3 and 4 million. During this era, a total of 6 million slaves were transferred. From the start of the trade in 1601 to the end in 1870, African elites and European investors and traders moved 9.5 million slaves to the Western Hemisphere.


In the 400 years (1450-1850) of the slave trade, about 21 million Africans were enslaved. Up to 2 million (or almost 20 percent) died on the Atlantic crossings, which lasted from 1 to 9 months on white slave trader ships. Probably three times as many slaves (at least 7 million) died on the way to the slave ports when they were captured by African elites in Africa. Particularly in the 17th and 18th centuries, slave owners made fabulous profits, as much as 135 percent. Read an article on slavery. Slavery was officially abolished in the last century, yet various forms of slavery continue in many countries. A useful current source for information on slavery is the Anti-Slavery International, based in London, UK. Indeed, the US Department of State estimates that nearly 20,000 people are trafficked (sold) in the USA alone. In response to this new form of slavery, the US Congress passed in 2000 the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act, which protects slaves against their former owners.
Option read: Basil Davidson, The African Slave Trade

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Created by Ingolf Vogeler on 1 April 1998; last revised on 14 March 2011.

 

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