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The trans-Atlantic slave trade peaked in the late 18th century, when the largest number of slaves were captured on raiding expeditions into the interior of West Africa. These expeditions were typically carried out by Muslim countries (from the ninth to the nineteenth).... Four million enslaved people exported via the Red Sea, another four million through the Swahili ports of the Indian Ocean, perhaps as many as nine million along the trans-Saharan caravan route, and eleven to twenty million (depending on the author) across the Atlantic Ocean.[157]

The trans-Atlantic slave trade peaked in the late 18th century, when the largest number of slaves wer

The trans-Atlantic slave trade peaked in the late 18th century, when the largest number of slaves were captured on raiding expeditions into the interior of West Africa. These expeditions were typically carried out by African kingdoms, such as the Oyo Empire (Yoruba), the Ashanti Empire,[158] the kingdom of Dahomey,[159] and the Aro Confederacy.[160] It is estimated that about 15 percent of slaves died during the voyage, with mortality rates considerably higher in Africa itself in the process of capturing and transporting indigenous peoples to the ships.[161][162]

Slavery in America remains a contentious issue and played a major role in the history and evolution of some countries, triggering a revolution, a civil war, and numerous rebellions.

In order to establish itself as an American empire, Spain had to fight against the relatively powerful civilizations of the New World. The Spanish conquest of the indigenous peoples in the Americas included using the Natives as forced labour. The Spanish colonies were the first Europeans to use African slaves in the New World on islands such as Cuba and Hispaniola.[163] Bartolomé de las Casas, a 16th-century Dominican friar and Spanish historian, participated in campaigns in Cuba (at Bayamo and Camagüey) and was present at the massacre of Hatuey; his observation of that massacre led him to fight for a social movement away from the use of natives as slaves. Also, the alarming decline in the native population had spurred the first royal laws protecting the native population. The first African slaves arrived in Hispaniola in 1501.[164] England played a prominent role in the Atlantic slave trade. The "slave triangle" was pioneered by Francis Drake and his associates.

Many Africans who arrived in North America during the 17th and 18th centuries came under contract as indentured servants.[165] The transformation from indentured servitude to slavery was a gradual process in Virginia. The earliest legal documentation of such a shift was in 1640 where a negro, John Punch, was sentenced to lifetime slavery, forcing him to serve his master, Hugh Gwyn, for the remainder of his life, for attempting to run away. This case was significant because it established the disparity between his sentence as a black man and that of the two white indentured servants who escaped with him (one described as Dutch and one as a Scotchman). It is the first documented case of a black man sentenced to lifetime servitude and is considered one of the first legal cases to make a racial distinction between black and white indentured servants.[166][167][168]In order to establish itself as an American empire, Spain had to fight against the relatively powerful civilizations of the New World. The Spanish conquest of the indigenous peoples in the Americas included using the Natives as forced labour. The Spanish colonies were the first Europeans to use African slaves in the New World on islands such as Cuba and Hispaniola.[163] Bartolomé de las Casas, a 16th-century Dominican friar and Spanish historian, participated in campaigns in Cuba (at Bayamo and Camagüey) and was present at the massacre of Hatuey; his observation of that massacre led him to fight for a social movement away from the use of natives as slaves. Also, the alarming decline in the native population had spurred the first royal laws protecting the native population. The first African slaves arrived in Hispaniola in 1501.[164] England played a prominent role in the Atlantic slave trade. The "slave triangle" was pioneered by Francis Drake and his associates.

Many Africans who arrived in North America during the 17th and 18th centuries came under contract as indentured servants.[165] The transformation from indentured servitude to slavery was a gradual process in Virginia. The earliest legal documentation of such a shift was in 1640 where a negro, John Punch, was sentenced to lifetime slavery, forcing him to serve his master, Hugh Gwyn, for the remainder of his life, for attempting to run away. This case was significant because it established the disparity between his sentence as a black man and that of the two white indentured servants who escaped with him (one described as Dutch and one as a Scotchman). It is the first documented case of a black man sentenced to lifetime servitude and is considered one of the first legal cases to make a racial distinction between black and white indentured servants.[166][167][168][169][170]

After 1640, planters started to ignore the expiration of indentured contracts and keep their servants as slaves for life. This was demonstrated by the 1655 case Johnson v. Parker, where the court ruled that a black man, Anthony Johnson of Virginia, was granted ownership of another black man, John Casor, as the result of a civil case.[171] This was the first instance of a judicial determination in the Thirteen Colonies holding that a person who had committed no crime could be held in servitude for life.[172][173][174][175][176][177][178]

In the early 17th century, the majority of the labour in Barbados was provided by European indentured servants, mainly English, Irish and Scottish, with enslaved Africans and enslaved Amerindians providing little of the workforce. The introduction of sugar cane from Dutch Brazil in 1640 completely transformed society and the economy. Barbados eventually had one of the world's largest sugar industries.[179]

As the effects of the new crop increased, so did the shift in the ethnic composition of Barbados and surrounding islands. The workable sugar plantation required a large investment and a great deal of heavy labour. At first, Dutch traders supplied the equipment, financing, and enslaved Africans, in addition to transporting most of the sugar to Europe. In 1644, the population of Barbados was estimated at 30,000, of which about 800 were of African descent, with the remainder mainly of English descent. These English smallholders were eventually bought out, and the island filled up with large sugar plantations worked by enslaved Africans. By 1660, there was near parity with 27,000 blacks and 26,000 whites. By 1666, at least 12,000 white smallholders had been bought out, died, or left the island. Many of the remaining whites were increasingly poor. By 1680, there were 17 slaves for every indentured servant

As the effects of the new crop increased, so did the shift in the ethnic composition of Barbados and surrounding islands. The workable sugar plantation required a large investment and a great deal of heavy labour. At first, Dutch traders supplied the equipment, financing, and enslaved Africans, in addition to transporting most of the sugar to Europe. In 1644, the population of Barbados was estimated at 30,000, of which about 800 were of African descent, with the remainder mainly of English descent. These English smallholders were eventually bought out, and the island filled up with large sugar plantations worked by enslaved Africans. By 1660, there was near parity with 27,000 blacks and 26,000 whites. By 1666, at least 12,000 white smallholders had been bought out, died, or left the island. Many of the remaining whites were increasingly poor. By 1680, there were 17 slaves for every indentured servant. By 1700, there were 15,000 free whites and 50,000 enslaved Africans.

Because of the increased implementation of slave codes, which created differential treatment between Africans and the white workers and ruling planter class, the island became increasingly unattractive to poor whites. Black or slave codes were implemented in 1661, 1676, 1682, and 1688. In response to these codes, several slave rebellions were attempted or planned during this time, but none succeeded. Nevertheless, poor whites who had or acquired the means to emigrate often did so. Planters expanded their importation of enslaved Africans to cultivate sugar cane.

Slavery in Brazil began long before the first Portuguese settlement was established in 1532, as members of one tribe would enslave captured members of another.[180]

Later, Portuguese colonists were heavily dependent on indigenous labor during the initial phases of settlement to maintain the subsistence economy, and natives were often captured by expeditions called bandeiras. The importation of African slaves began midway through the 16th century, but the enslavement of indigenous peoples continued well into the 17th and 18th centuries.

During the Atlantic slave trade era, Brazil imported more African slaves than any other country. Nearly 5 million slaves were brought from Africa to Brazil during the period from 1501 to 1866.[181] Until the early 1850s, most enslaved Africans who arrived on Brazilian shores were forced to embark at West Central African ports, especially in Luanda (present-day Angola). Today, with the exception of Nigeria, the largest population of people of African descent is in Brazil.[182]

Slave labor was the driving force behind the growth of the sugar economy in Brazil, and sugar was the primary export of the colony from 1600 to 1650. Gold and diamond deposits were discovered in Brazil in 1690, which sparked an increase in the importation of African slaves to power this newly profitable market. Transportation systems were developed for the mining infrastructure, and population boomed from immigrants seeking to take part in gold and diamond mining. Demand for African slaves did not wane after the decline of the mining industry in the second half of the 18th century. Cattle ranching and foodstuff production proliferated after the population growth, both of which relied heavily on slave labor. 1.7 million slaves were imported to Brazil from Africa from 1700 to 1800, and the rise of coffee in the 1830s further enticed expansion of the slave trade.

Brazil was the last country in the Western world to abolish slavery. Forty percent of

Later, Portuguese colonists were heavily dependent on indigenous labor during the initial phases of settlement to maintain the subsistence economy, and natives were often captured by expeditions called bandeiras. The importation of African slaves began midway through the 16th century, but the enslavement of indigenous peoples continued well into the 17th and 18th centuries.

During the Atlantic slave trade era, Brazil imported more African slaves than any other country. Nearly 5 million slaves were brought from Africa to Brazil during the period from 1501 to 1866.[181] Until the early 1850s, most enslaved Africans who arrived on Brazilian shores were forced to embark at West Central African ports, especially in Luanda (present-day Angola). Today, with the exception of Nigeria, the largest population of people of African descent is in Brazil.[182]

Slave labor was the driving force behind the growth of the sugar economy in Brazil, and sugar was the primary export of the colony from 1600 to 1650. Gold and diamond deposits were discovered in Brazil in 1690, which sparked an increase in the importation of African slaves to power this newly profitable market. Transportation systems were developed for the mining infrastructure, and population boomed from immigrants seeking to take part in gold and diamond mining. Demand for African slaves did not wane after the decline of the mining industry in the second half of the 18th century. Cattle ranching and foodstuff production proliferated after the population growth, both of which relied heavily on slave labor. 1.7 million slaves were imported to Brazil from Africa from 1700 to 1800, and the rise of coffee in the 1830s further enticed expansion of the slave trade.

Brazil was the last country in the Western world to abolish slavery. Forty percent of the total number of slaves brought to the Americas were sent to Brazil. For reference, the United States received 10 percent. Despite being abolished, there are still people working in slavery-like conditions in Brazil in the 21st century.

In 1789 the Spanish Crown led an effort to reform slavery, as the demand for slave labor in Cuba was growing. The Crown issued a decree, Código Negro Español (Spanish Black Codex), that specified food and clothing provisions, put limits on the number of work hours, limited punishments, required religious instruction, and protected marriages, forbidding the sale of young children away from their mothers.[183] The British made other changes to the institution of slavery in Cuba.[183] But planters often flouted the laws and protested against them, considering them a threat to their authority[183] and an intrusion into their personal lives.[183]

The slaveowners did not protest against all the measure

The slaveowners did not protest against all the measures of the codex, many of which they argued were already common practices. They objected to efforts to set limits on their ability to apply physical punishment. For instance, the Black Codex limited whippings to 25 and required the whippings "not to cause serious bruises or bleeding".[183] The slave-owners thought that the slaves would interpret these limits as weaknesses, ultimately leading to resistance.[183] Another contested issue was the work hours that were restricted "from sunrise to sunset"; plantation owners responded by explaining that cutting and processing of cane needed 20-hour days during the harvest season.[183]

Those slaves who worked on sugar plantations and in sugar mills were often subject to the harshest of conditions. The field work was rigorous manual labor which the slaves began at an early age. The work days lasted close to 20 hours during harvest and processing, including cultivating and cutting the crops, hauling wagons, and processing sugarcane with dangerous machinery. The slaves were forced to reside in barracoons, where they were crammed in and locked in by a padlock at night, getting about three to four hours of sleep. The conditions of the barracoons were harsh; they were highly unsanitary and extremely hot. Typically there was no ventilation; the only window was a small barred hole in the wall.[184]

Cuba's slavery system was gendered in a way that some duties were performed only by male slaves, some only by female slaves. Female slaves in Havana from the 16th century onwards performed duties such as operating the town taverns, eating houses, and lodges, as well as being laundresses and domestic laborers and servants. Female slaves also served as the town prostitutes.

Some Cuban women could gain freedom by having children with white men. As in other Latin cultures, there were looser borders with the mulatto or mixed-race population. Sometimes men who took slaves as wives or concubines freed both them and their children. As in New Orleans and Saint-Domingue, mulattos began to be classified as a third group between the European colonists and African slaves. Freedmen, generally of mixed race, came to represent 20% of the total Cuban population and 41% of the non-white Cuban population.[185]

Planters encouraged Afro-Cuban slaves to have children in order to reproduce their work force. The masters wanted to pair strong and large-built black men with healthy black

Some Cuban women could gain freedom by having children with white men. As in other Latin cultures, there were looser borders with the mulatto or mixed-race population. Sometimes men who took slaves as wives or concubines freed both them and their children. As in New Orleans and Saint-Domingue, mulattos began to be classified as a third group between the European colonists and African slaves. Freedmen, generally of mixed race, came to represent 20% of the total Cuban population and 41% of the non-white Cuban population.[185]

Planters encouraged Afro-Cuban slaves to have children in order to reproduce their work force. The masters wanted to pair strong and large-built black men with healthy black women. They were placed in the barracoons and forced to have sex and create offspring of “breed stock” children, who would sell for around 500 pesos. The planters needed children to be born to replace slaves who died under the harsh regime. Sometimes if the overseers did not like the quality of children, they separate the parents and sent the mother back to working in the fields.[186]

Both women and men were subject to the punishments of violence and humiliating abuse. Slaves who misbehaved or disobeyed their masters were often placed in stocks in the depths of the boiler houses where they were abandoned for days at a time, and oftentimes two to three months. These wooden stocks were made in two types: lying-down or stand-up types. women were punished, even when pregnant. They were subjected to whippings: they had to lie "face down over a scooped-out piece of round [earth] to protect their bellies."[187] Some masters reportedly whipped pregnant women in the belly, often causing miscarriages. The wounds were treated with “compresses of tobacco leaves, urine and salt."[188]

Slavery in Haiti started with the arrival of Christopher Columbus on the island in 1492. The practice was devastating to the native population.[189] Following the indigenous Taíno's near decimation from forced labour, disease and war, the Spanish, under advisement of the Catholic priest Bartolomeu de las Casas, and with the blessing of the Catholic church began engaging in earnest in the kidnapped and forced labour of enslaved Africans. During the French colonial period beginning in 1625, the economy of Haiti (then known as Saint-Domingue) was based on slavery, and the practice there was regarded as the most brutal in the world.

Following the Treaty of Ryswick of 1697, Hispaniola was divided between France and Spain. France received the western third and subsequently named it Saint-Domingue. To develop it into sugarcane plantations, the French imported thousands of slaves from Africa. Sugar was a lucrative commodity crop throughout the 18th century. By 1789, approximately 40,000 white colonists lived in Saint-Domingue. The whites were vastly outnumbered by the tens of thousands of African slaves they had imported to work on their plantations, which were primarily devoted to the production of sugarcane. In the north of the island, slaves were able to retain many ties to African cultures, religion and language; these ties were continually being renewed by newly imported Africans. Blacks outnumbered whites by about ten to one.

The French-enacted Code Noir ("Black Code"), prepared by Jean-Baptiste Colbert and ratified by Louis XIV, had established rules on slave treatment and permissible freedoms. Saint-Domingue has been described as one of the most brutally efficient slave colonies; one-third of newly imported Africans died within a few years.[190] Many slaves died from diseases such as smallpox and typhoid fever.[191] They had birth rates around 3 percent, and there is evidence that some women aborted fetuses, or committed infanticide, rather allow their children to live within the bonds of slavery.[192][193]

As in its Louisiana colony, the French colonial government allowed some rights to free people of color: the mixed-race descendants of white male colonists and black female slaves (and later, mixed-race women). Over time, many were released from slavery. They established a separate social class. White French Creole fathers frequently sent their mixed-race sons to France for their education. Some men of color were admitted into the military. More of the free people of color lived in the south of the island, near Port-au-Prince, and many intermarried within their community. They frequently worked as artisans and tradesmen, and began to own some property. Some became slave holders. The Louisiana colony, the French colonial government allowed some rights to free people of color: the mixed-race descendants of white male colonists and black female slaves (and later, mixed-race women). Over time, many were released from slavery. They established a separate social class. White French Creole fathers frequently sent their mixed-race sons to France for their education. Some men of color were admitted into the military. More of the free people of color lived in the south of the island, near Port-au-Prince, and many intermarried within their community. They frequently worked as artisans and tradesmen, and began to own some property. Some became slave holders. The free people of color petitioned the colonial government to expand their rights.

Slaves that made it to Haiti from the trans-Atlantic journey and slaves born in Haiti were first documented in Haiti's archives and transferred to France's Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. As of 2015, these records are in The National Archives of France. According to the 1788 Census, Haiti's population consisted of nearly 40,000 whites, 30,000 free coloureds and 450,000 slaves.[194]

The Haitian Revolution of 1804, the only successful slave revolt in human history, precipitated the end of slavery in all French colonies.

Jamaica was colonized by the Taino tribes prior to the arrival of Columbus in 1494. The Spanish enslaved many of the Taino; some escaped, but most died from European diseases and overwork. The Spaniards also introduced the first African slaves.[195]

The Spanish colonists did not bring women in the first expeditions and took Taíno women for their common-law wives, resulting in mestizo children.[196] Sexual violence with the Taíno women by the Spanish was also common.[197][198]

Although the African slave population in the 1670s and 1680s never exceeded 10,000, by 1800 it had increased to over 300,000.

Mexico

In 1519, Hernán Cortés brought the first modern slave to the area.[199] In the mid-16th century, the second viceroy to Mexico, Luis de Velasco, prohibited slavery of the Aztecs. A labor shortage resulted as the Aztecs were either killed or died from disease. This led to the African slaves being imported, as they were not susceptible to smallpox. In exchange, many Africans were afford

The Spanish colonists did not bring women in the first expeditions and took Taíno women for their common-law wives, resulting in mestizo children.[196] Sexual violence with the Taíno women by the Spanish was also common.[197][198]

Although the African slave population in the 1670s and 1680s never exceeded 10,000, by 1800 it had increased to over 300,000.

In 1519, Hernán Cortés brought the first modern slave to the area.[199] In the mid-16th century, the second viceroy to Mexico, Luis de Velasco, prohibited slavery of the Aztecs. A labor shortage resulted as the Aztecs were either killed or died from disease. This led to the African slaves being imported, as they were not susceptible to smallpox. In exchange, many Africans were afforded the opportunity to buy their freedom, while eventually others were granted their freedom by their masters.[199]

Puerto RicoWhen Ponce de León and the Spaniards arrived on the island of Borikén (Puerto Rico), they enslaved Taíno tribes on the island, forcing them to work in the gold mines and in the construction of forts. Many Taíno died, particularly from smallpox, of which they had no immunity. Other Taínos committed suicide or left the island after the failed Taíno revolt of 1511.[200] The Spanish colonists, fearing the loss of their labor force, complained the courts that they needed manpower. As an alternative, Las Casas suggested the importation and use of African slaves. In 1517, the Spanish Crown permitted its subjects to import twelve slaves each, thereby beginning the slave trade on the colonies.[201]

African slaves were legally branded with a hot iron on the forehead,

African slaves were legally branded with a hot iron on the forehead, prevented their "theft" or lawsuits that challenged their captivity.[202] The colonists continued this branding practice for more than 250 years.[203] They were sent to work in the gold mines, or in the island's ginger and sugar fields. They were allowed to live with their families in a hut on the master's land, and given a patch of land where they could farm, but otherwise were subjected to harsh treatment; including sexual abuse as the majority of colonists had arrived without women; many of them intermarried with the Africans or Taínos. Their mixed-race descendants formed the first generations of the early Puerto Rican population.[202]

The slaves faced heavy discrimination and had no opportunity for advancement, though they were educated by their masters. The Spaniards considered the Africans superior to the Taíno, since the latter were unwilling to assimilate. The slaves, in contrast, had little choice but to adapt. Many converted to Christianity and were given their masters' surnames.[202]

By 1570, the colonists found that the gold mines were depleted, relegating the island to a garrison for passing ships. The cultivation of crops such as tobacco, cotton, cocoa, and ginger became the cornerstone of the economy.[204] With rising demand for sugar on the international market, major planters increased their labor-intensive cultivation and processing of sugar cane. Sugar plantations supplanted mining as Puerto Rico's main industry and kept demand high for African slavery.[204]

After 1784, Spain provided five ways by which slaves could obtain freedom.[203] Five years later, the Spanish

By 1570, the colonists found that the gold mines were depleted, relegating the island to a garrison for passing ships. The cultivation of crops such as tobacco, cotton, cocoa, and ginger became the cornerstone of the economy.[204] With rising demand for sugar on the international market, major planters increased their labor-intensive cultivation and processing of sugar cane. Sugar plantations supplanted mining as Puerto Rico's main industry and kept demand high for African slavery.[204]

After 1784, Spain provided five ways by which slaves could obtain freedom.[203] Five years later, the Spanish Crown issued the "Royal Decree of Graces of 1789", which set new rules related to the slave trade and added restrictions to the granting of freedman status. The decree granted its subjects the right to purchase slaves and to participate in the flourishing slave trade in the Caribbean. Later that year a new slave code, also known as El Código Negro (The Black Code), was introduced.[205]

Under "El Código Negro", a slave could buy his freedom, in the event that his master was willing to sell, by paying the price sought in installments. Slaves were allowed to earn money during their spare time by working as shoemakers, cleaning clothes, or selling the produce they grew on their own plots of land. For the freedom of their newborn child, not yet baptized, they paid at half the going price for a baptized child.[205] Many of these freedmen started settlements in the areas which became known as Cangrejos (Santurce), Carolina, Canóvanas, Loíza, and Luquillo. Some became slave owners themselves.[202] Despite these paths to freedom, from 1790 onwards, the number of slaves more than doubled in Puerto Rico as a result of the dramatic expansion of the sugar industry in the island.[204]

On March 22, 1873, slavery was legally abolished in Puerto Rico. However, slaves were not emancipated but rather had to buy their own freedom, at whatever price was set by their last masters. They were also required to work for another three years for their former masters, for other colonists interested in their services, or for the state in order to pay some compensation.[206] Between 1527 and 1873, slaves in Puerto Rico had carried out more than twenty revolts.[207][208]

The planters of the Dutch colony relied heavily on African slaves to cultivate, harvest and process the commodity crops of coffee, cocoa, sugar cane and cotton plantations along the rivers. Planters' treatment of the slaves was notoriously bad.[209] Historian C. R. Boxer wrote that "man's inhumanity to man just about reached its limits in Surinam."[210]

Many slaves escaped the plantations. With the help of the native South Americans living in the adjoining rain forests, these runaway slaves established a new and unique culture in the interior that was highly successful in its own right. They were known collectively in English as Maroons, in French as Nèg'Marrons (literally meaning "brown negroes", that is "pale-skinned negroes"), and in Dutch as Marrons. The Maroons gradually developed several independent tribes through a process of ethnogenesis, as they were made up of slaves from different African ethnicities. These tribes include the Saramaka, Paramaka, Ndyuka or Aukan, Kwinti, Aluku or Boni, and Matawai.

The Maroons often raided plantations to recruit new members from the slaves and capture women, as well as to acquire weapons, food and supplies. They sometimes killed planters and their families in the raids.[211] The colonists also mounted armed campaigns against the Maroons, who generally escaped through the rain forest, which they knew much better than did the coloniss. To end h

Many slaves escaped the plantations. With the help of the native South Americans living in the adjoining rain forests, these runaway slaves established a new and unique culture in the interior that was highly successful in its own right. They were known collectively in English as Maroons, in French as Nèg'Marrons (literally meaning "brown negroes", that is "pale-skinned negroes"), and in Dutch as Marrons. The Maroons gradually developed several independent tribes through a process of ethnogenesis, as they were made up of slaves from different African ethnicities. These tribes include the Saramaka, Paramaka, Ndyuka or Aukan, Kwinti, Aluku or Boni, and Matawai.

The Maroons often raided plantations to recruit new members from the slaves and capture women, as well as to acquire weapons, food and supplies. They sometimes killed planters and their families in the raids.[211] The colonists also mounted armed campaigns against the Maroons, who generally escaped through the rain forest, which they knew much better than did the coloniss. To end hostilities, in the 18th century the European colonial authorities signed several peace treaties with different tribes. They granted the Maroons sovereign status and trade rights in their inland territories, giving them autonomy.

In 1861–63, President Abraham Lincoln of the United States and his administration looked abroad for places to relocate freed slaves who wanted to leave the United States. It opened negotiations with the Dutch government regarding African-American emigration to and colonization of the Dutch colony of Suriname in South America. Nothing came of it and after 1864, the proposal was dropped.[212]

The Netherlands abolished slavery in Suriname, in 1863, under a gradual process that required slaves to work on plantations for 10 transition years for minimal pay, which was considered as partial compensation for their masters. After 1873, most freedmen largely abandoned the plantations where they had worked for several generations in favor of the capital city, Paramaribo.