Business Decisions Of The Early 1800’s – To Breed Slaves Or To Import Them?

Decisions, decisions!

It was tough being a businessman in the early 1800’s. The price of slaves was going out of sight and so many respectable pillars of the community found they had to go into the slave-breeding business just to make ends meet. It wasn’t all tea and crumpets on the plantation, ya know!

Clive.. I found this rather lengthy article on a blog. It doesn’t have many sources properly laid out, but it still looks like a well done overview of the development of the slave trade. Would you have a read and comment please?



Historical background

The trans-Atlantic slave trade undoubtedly culminated in one of the most inhumane atrocities in history. However, unlike subsequent human holocausts, the de-population experienced by the African continent from 1550-1850 is unique as it was initiated, conducted, and abolished with full agreement from all controlling bodies on all sides.

The trans-Atlantic slave trade coincided in time with the rise of industrialisation and free trade on the European continent, and contrary to popular belief, the removal of millions of people from Africa was not a mass abduction by European aggressors (African armies were too strong to allow this), but a legitimate business deal between European traders and African leaders, who initially encouraged the trade as a fair exchange of European goods for African captives. From the seventh century onwards, and long before European arrival, both internal and long-distance slave trading (to northern Islamic African states and the Middle East) had been an integral part of African society as part of trade agreements.

This was made possible due to the lack of a prison system in Africa, so if an African committed a crime they were liable to endure a temporary period of servitude as punishment, and could be retained or sold on by the owner as desired (even though the slave would still remain free in the community). It was only once the Europeans arrived and offered more favourable terms than any other traders that emphasis began to shift to the trans-Atlantic trade.

… continue reading this article at Rec-Ignition Blog (link here)


Filed under Africa, Barbados, History, Slavery

8 responses to “Business Decisions Of The Early 1800’s – To Breed Slaves Or To Import Them?

  1. Ronin

    Here’s a little perspective. Much more can be found online. Or you can actually travel to one of these places, pick up a deal, and set him/her free. Good karma for life.

    Monday, 27 May, 2002, 11:26 GMT 12:26 UK
    Millions ‘forced into slavery’

    Children are victims of slave traffickers
    The number of people forced into slavery around the world has risen to 27 million, according to a report published by an international human rights group.
    The study – released to coincide with a special UN session on slavery – says millions of girls working as domestic servants are forced into sexual slavery.

    The trafficking of child camel jockeys to the United Arab Emirates, bonded labour in Pakistan and forced labour in Sudan are also highlighted.

    Slavery is fuelled by “poverty, vulnerability and lack of political will”, Anti-Slavery International says.

    Forced labour

    Last week, the US endorsed a report drawn up by an international group of “eminent persons” which concluded that slavery existed in Sudan.

    Sudan: Between 5,000 and 14,000 abducted since 1983
    Millions of girls forced into domestic service worldwide
    Hundreds of boys trafficked to the Gulf to race camels
    (Source: Anti-Slavery International)

    The report recommended that the Sudanese President, Omar Hassan al-Bashir, take the lead by launching an anti-slavery campaign and calling for the release of all slaves.

    The Sudanese Government comes in for criticism from Anti-Slavery International, which accuses it of “failing to take adequate steps to end raiding and slavery”.

    Between 5,000 and 14,000 people are said by the group to have been abducted into forced labour in Sudan since 1983.

    There are also problems of forced labour in Mauritania where, the London-based rights group says, little has been done to secure the release of slaves or punish those who use them despite the abolition of slavery in 1981.

    In Brazil, the report says, more than 1,000 people were rescued from forced labour last year, but many more remain enslaved on Amazonian estates.

    The report says that in Pakistan, particularly in Sindh province, many women, children and men are forced to accept landlords’ cash advances and work all day long for no wages.

    Sex work

    Many of those who are forcibly employed across the world are children.

    Anti-slavery activists say millions of girls working as domestic servants are denied freedom and education and are vulnerable to abuse. Many are forced into sex work.

    Boys are also victims. The report estimates that every year hundreds of boys, aged between four and 10, are trafficked from South Asia to the United Arab Emirates and other Gulf states to race camels, a dangerous sport.

  2. Ronin

    Sorry, Credit to the BBC for the story.

  3. Red

    BBC also carried a story last year about slavery in Ghana, where parents in the North will sell (or lease) their children to fishermen.

  4. anonymous #2

    Understand that the comemoration of the 200th year since abolition is in Independance Square this Sunday at 4PM.

    Let freedom reign!

  5. David

    People need to know that those brand name shoes are made by child labour- child slave labour.

    That football youre kicking around? Made in the far east; check out where, and who.

    Those clothes that you pay brand name prices for…

    And the beat goes on. Ho hum, yah, right!!! Shame on you, here in Bim.

  6. jinxoo7

    Hi David,

    Should you discover any links where one can find out where certain merchanise are made, please let us know…… i certainly would not wish to support such companies…