Trans Atlantic trade is still recognized as one of the major trading activities that took place from the beginning of sixteenth century all through to eighteenth century. This trade was unique in the sense that it involved the selling of human beings as one of the major commodities. This trade is also commonly called triangular trade. This is because it involved three continents. In this case, Africa, America and Europe exchanged goods from one region to another. The beginning of this trade goes back to fifteenth century. During this period, there was development in marine technology. This facilitated the travelling of Europeans hence they finally to Africa (Davidson 123).
Trans Atlantic trade was not very good on the side of the Africans who lost a part of their population as result of this trade. Even though the slaves were many as compared to their masters, they could not resist it for a very long time because of several reasons which can be discussed as follows. Before the onset of this trade, slavery existed in some places in Africa. For example, it existed in some kingdoms found in West Africa. When this trade was introduced, the African leaders took advantage of it and they started selling their own subjects to the Europeans. In this regard, we can say that it was partly developed by the Africans themselves. This made it to last for along period of time. For example, the Africans middlemen conducted raids in the interior and forwarded slaves to the brokers at the coastal regions where most of the slave markets were established. The African chiefs therefore found it very lucrative because they could get nice goods and favors by simply selling their subjects.
The existence of superior weapons such as fire arms could not be resisted by many Africans during the raids. The acute demand for labor also made the Europeans to be keenly interested in slave trade (Williams 167). This is because the plantation farming that developed in America caused a great demand for labor. Since the red Indians could not put up with the harsh working conditions, the Europeans decided to exploit the Africans who were strong enough to work for long hours in their farms and industries. Therefore, the Europeans used all the methods to maintain slavery. Slave trade generally fetched good returns for those who were involved in it hence they struggled as much as possible to maintain it (Rodney 234).
The slaves were generally treated inhumanly right from time they were captured until they reached Europe. Up on reaching their destinations, the slaves who attempted to escape were either tortured or murdered. This discouraged them form trying to resist. The European governments also favored the trade. This made it difficult for the issue of slavery to be stopped. The slave masters did not allow slaves to freely socialize. They were often restricted to their masters’ residence. This made it difficult for them to come together and resist the practice of slavery. Therefore, the large number of slaves could not help them end slavery quickly.