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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Historical Events & Eras > American Age of Discovery, Colonization, Revolution, & Expansion > American Colonial Era

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American Colonial Era 1660-1763 The growth of North American colonies, often with a change in native & national control.

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  #1  
Old 06 Jan 14, 16:38
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How many African Slaves came to "America"

How Many Slaves Landed in the US?

.....
The most comprehensive analysis of shipping records over the course of the slave trade is the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database, edited by professors David Eltis and David Richardson. (While the editors are careful to say that all of their figures are estimates, I believe that they are the best estimates that we have, the proverbial "gold standard" in the field of the study of the slave trade.) Between 1525 and 1866, in the entire history of the slave trade to the New World, according to the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database, 12.5 million Africans were shipped to the New World. 10.7 million survived the dreaded Middle Passage, disembarking in North America, the Caribbean and South America.

And how many of these 10.7 million Africans were shipped directly to North America? Only about 388,000. That's right: a tiny percentage.

In fact, the overwhelming percentage of the African slaves were shipped directly to the Caribbean and South America; Brazil received 4.86 million Africans alone! Some scholars estimate that another 60,000 to 70,000 Africans ended up in the United States after touching down in the Caribbean first, so that would bring the total to approximately 450,000 Africans who arrived in the United States over the course of the slave trade.
....
[/url]http://www.theroot.com/articles/history/2012/10/how_many_slaves_came_to_america_fact_vs_fiction.ht ml[/url]
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  #2  
Old 06 Jan 14, 17:06
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Damn. And they did it with wind-powered ships and zero long-range communications.

I wonder if there was ever an effort to move people by a pre-industrial Age society that matched it.

Makes me wonder what sort of dislocation, cultural, social, and so forth that this caused in Africa?
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Old 09 Jul 15, 03:05
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Some American Indian slaves were counted as black.

The act stated: "And for preventing all doubts and scruples that may arise what ought to be rated on mustees, mulattoes, etc. all such slaves as are not entirely Indian shall be accounted as negro."
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Old 09 Jul 15, 04:40
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Hmm, I suppose I would've expected there to be more.

Also, would I be racist for wondering what role Africans themselves had? I thought that African rulers were also dealing in slaves too, like giving prisoners of war they had captured to the European traders? I have no doubt, rest assured, that in plenty of cases Europeans just took them straightaway.
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Old 09 Jul 15, 05:27
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I was vaguely familiar with these figures and they are very interesting. The importation of slaves was prohibited in 1808. As the original post sated approximately a half million slaves had been imported from outside the U.S. by time importation was outlawed. By 1804 most Northern states had abolished slavery. By 1810 there were approximately 50,000 freed slaves in the North. The total slave population in the South at the time of liberation was estimated to be 4 million and amounted to 13 percent of the population. Today people who identify themselves as "black" make up 13.2% of the population. The figures certainly point to a relatively healthy population that was well "managed".

What is more interesting is the life expectancy for U.S. slaves compared to those who ended up in other places in the Americas. It could be argued that the discrepancy between import numbers to the U.S. and other places in the Americas was due to the fact that outside the U.S. they had to be replaced as they died. Only in the U.S. could it be said that the slave population was successfully maintained by reproduction alone.

Nothing I have said should be taken to imply that the condition of slavery was not brutal in the U.S. only that it represented a different economic system from other places in the Americas. The hugely disproportionate number of slaves in the South compared to the North also points to differences in economic systems.

If we compare life expectancy figures to workers in Europe to that of slaves in the U.S. around 1800 it is slightly higher for the workers but those numbers are contested by many who think black life expectancy was much lower. To say the data is confusing would be an understatement.

What I think we can say with some certainty is that compared to today life was difficult in the early 19th century. A difficult life must have had some effect on the sensibilities of people at the time making it difficult to assess how any of us would have acted or what we may have believed at the time.
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Old 09 Jul 15, 05:27
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Originally Posted by Super Six 4 View Post
Hmm, I suppose I would've expected there to be more.

Also, would I be racist for wondering what role Africans themselves had? I thought that African rulers were also dealing in slaves too, like giving prisoners of war they had captured to the European traders? I have no doubt, rest assured, that in plenty of cases Europeans just took them straightaway.
A huge part.The slave ship crews didn't capture many slaves they traded for them. If you think about it the crew of a slave ship would be relatively small in relationship to the number of slaves carried. If they are going to capture this cargo they will have to do it over time as they won't be strong enough to take large numbers all in one go and the accumulating numbers have to be kept somewhere. Local rulers provided the slaves using mainly the large internal African slave trade managed to a considerable extent by Arab slave traders. Early European explorers as their accounts show found the safest way to travel in Africa was to arrange with an Arab slave trader to allow them to accompany a slave column along one of the many slaving routes. There had been an African slave trade since at least Roman times.

Accounts by slave ship captains that survive show that some of them used the existence of this trade as a justification for their own involvement. They weren't enslaving anyone they would argue as the slaves they shipped had already been enslaved. Whether they actually really believed this is open to conjecture.
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Old 09 Jul 15, 07:39
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It wasn't just "Arab" slave traders, it was also black African tribes that had converted to Islam, and some who just didn't like their neighbors. Eliminating a competing tribe by removing them entirely from the continent, and getting paid to boot, appealed to some folks.

The SLAVE TRADE: THE STORY OF THE ATLANTIC SLAVE TRADE: 1440 - 1870

Good read, that.
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Old 09 Jul 15, 07:49
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Damn. And they did it with wind-powered ships and zero long-range communications.

I wonder if there was ever an effort to move people by a pre-industrial Age society that matched it.

Makes me wonder what sort of dislocation, cultural, social, and so forth that this caused in Africa?
About as much as the drug trade does today in Mexico, Columbia etc?
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Old 09 Jul 15, 07:49
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The tribes ran the production side - creating slaves, the Arabs ran the wholesaling, distribution and Eastwards export business, the European slave ship owners ran the Westward export arm - everybody got their hands dirty. Not all African slaves were exported - there was a substantial domestic market. Sierra Leone became a place of refuge for released and escaped slaves hence the name of the capital today - Freetown

The last country in the world to ban the sale of slaves (but not the ownership) was Saudi Arabia in the 1930s
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Old 09 Jul 15, 07:54
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Hmm, I suppose I would've expected there to be more.

Also, would I be racist for wondering what role Africans themselves had? I thought that African rulers were also dealing in slaves too, like giving prisoners of war they had captured to the European traders? I have no doubt, rest assured, that in plenty of cases Europeans just took them straightaway.
The way I see it, there was always going too be a slave trade, but European money was the enabler that made it explode. When the demand for slaves goes up, the supply will expand to meet it.
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Old 09 Jul 15, 08:04
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The way I see it, there was always going too be a slave trade, but European money was the enabler that made it explode. When the demand for slaves goes up, the supply will expand to meet it.
It was there long before. The early Portuguese explorers were offered slaves and there was a market in the East
In ancient Rome if you wanted some clerical work done you went out and bought an educated Greek but if you wanted muscle you often bought a Nubian (African) Germans were also deemed good muscle but undisciplined slaves.
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