The slave trade reached its tallness during the 17Thursdaycentury. European powers like England. Spain. and France bought slaves from Africa to work in plantations in the American continent. After slaves were sold to the colonial powers. they were held in ironss. They were placed in the bottom deck of the ship and forced to eat rat. soil. and even decomposing meat. Children were separated from their parents. For the most. grownup slaves were priced higher than kids because of the value of their labour power. Clearly. slaves were considered sub-human entities by the European powers.
One West Indian slave. Olaudah Equiano wrote an autobiography detailing his experiences as a slave of the British Royal Navy. When the Seven Years War broke in the Americas. Equiano was assigned in the British Navy as a slave crewman. He was entitled to few properties and rights ( unlike other slaves Equiano was really good –educated ) . The captain of the ship where he was functioning had the right to sell him to another “master. ” When he was sent to the field to work as a common slave. he asked the male monarch of England ( through a medium ) that he be sent to another captain of the Royal Navy. In a personal missive addressed to the male monarch of England. he detailed the conditions of the slaves in plantations ( he enumerated the conditions of the slaves in the plantations to expose the surpluss of British colonial functionaries and to an extent. elate the on the job conditions of the slaves ) .
Here is a citation from Equiano depicting one of the conditions of slaves in the West Indies. “The Fe muzzle. thumb-screws. & A ; c. . are so good known. as non to necessitate a description. and were sometimes applied for the slightest mistakes. I have seen a negro beaten till some of his castanetss were broken. for merely allowing a pot furuncle over. Is it surprising that use like this should drive the hapless animals to desperation. and do them seek a safety in decease from those immoralities which render their lives unbearable? ” ( Equiano 34 ) . He said that the slaves were able to make their ain colonies by virtuousness of the jurisprudence ; that is. because slaves were considered sub-humans ( and possessing a different cultural background ) . they should hold their ain “home” ( racially sarcastic in kernel ) . Hence. note that in the United States today. some communities are preponderantly Afro-american since such communities developed out of colonial black colonies.
Equiano’s narrative served as the focal point of the abolishment of the slave trade in the United States. Because of the elaborate description of Equiano. several US senators during the presidential term of Lincoln heeded the call of the slaves ; that is. the abolishment of the slave trade. That happened shortly before the terminal of the Civil War.
African History: The Trans Atlantic Slave Trade. hypertext transfer protocol: //africanhistory. about. com/library/weekly/aa080601a. htm [ February 7. 2007 ]
Olaudah Equiano. The Interesting Narrative of the Life
of Olaudah Equiano. or Gustavus Vassa. the African
( London. 1789 ; vol. I ) .