The Trans – Atlantic Slave Trade (1490s- 1870s)

Context: Global

  • Ancient Egypt
  • Greece
  • Roman Empire (60 million people with 25-30% slaves)
  • Serfdom ( Europe, Russia 800-1800s)

20th century:

  • Soviet Russia (Stalin) (1920s – 1950s): Slave labor system called Gulab with 1/8 population are slaves.
  • Hitler/ Nazis (12 million people slaves)

Total number Africans Brought to the Western Hemisphere:

1500s – 240,000

1600s – 1.6m

1700s – 6m

to 1870 – 1.3 m

Total: appropirately at least  9-10m/ at high 12-15m


  • USA – 1865
  • Spanish colonies – 1870s
  • Brazil – 1888
  • Europe have “Chattel” Slavery with the meaning is personal property.


A. Africa: it existed before Europe make slavery

  • Debt
  • Criminals

B. Mexico: Aztec

  • Own land
  • Marry free citizens
  • Children free

Two major Sources of Slavery ( ship to Western)

I. Interior:

  1. Purchase/ by trade
  2. Kidnapping

II. P.O.Ws/ War captives.

From Carribean, Slave delivered to North America ( 5%), Mexico , Central American, South America( Brazil: 3m)

Remember: “African diaspora” means it break the African population outside African continent

By 1700:

  • The ratio of males to females slavery: 2 to 1
  • Children: 10%
  • 15% died.

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