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The Transatlantic Slave Trade

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The Transatlantic Slave Trade was the journey from Europe to West Africa to acquire slaves then across the Atlantic Ocean to the Americas then back to Europe during the 16th to 19th centuries. The objects that facilitated the functions of the slave trade made the trade simultaneously more efficient and inhumane.

The ships were very important because they carried goods from port to port whether it was slaves to the Americas, sugar and tobacco to Europe, or guns and cloth to Africa. Without the ships none of the transportation from port to port would be possible and as a result the trade would have been nonexistent. Middlemen were also integral to the slave trade as they were Africans who knew the interior thus they were able to capture slaves because most Africans lived on the interior of the continent. Without the middlemen the Europeans would not be able to capture the slaves because they did not know the land and the interior. The forts/trading posts also played a vital role in the slave trade as they facilitated the trade between the Europeans and Africans, the Europeans giving the Africans guns and cloth in exchange for slaves, gold and spices. The forts/trading posts also held slaves awaiting to be transported to the new world for several weeks.

Ship Model Dos Amigos

National Museum of American History

The Layout of slave ship

Colonial Willamsburg

Slaves walking to the Coast

Bristol Radical History Group


National Museum of African American History and Culture

Cape Coast Castle

Slavery Image Collections

Forts on the African Coast

The National Archives

Slave Auction

Slave Receipt

Yale university Library