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HIST311: The Age of the Atlantic Slave Trade, 1500-1900

Unit 2: The Enslavement of Africans   Beginning in the 16th century, Africans were brought to the Americas to serve as enslaved laborers on plantations and in mines. However, Africans were not the first laborers to be used in the New World for that purpose. Portuguese and Spanish colonizers had utilized indentured servitude and enslaved local Amerindian peoples. However, when disease depleted the Amerindian slaves and indentured European servants, African laborers became a viable alternative. Africans were accustomed to a tropical climate, were familiar with agricultural production, and seemed resistant to disease. Gradually, specific African ethnic groups were brought to the English, Danish, Dutch, or French West Indies, or to Spanish or Portuguese America as captive slaves.
      
In this unit, we will examine why European colonizers turned to imported Africans as their main source of labor on plantations and in gold and silver mines. We will also study which African ethnic groups were imported into particular New World colonies.

Unit 2 Time Advisory
Completing this unit  take you approximately 4.75 hours.

☐    Subunit 2.1: 4 hours
☐    Subunit 2.1.1: 1 hour

☐    Subunit 2.1.2: 1 hour

☐    Subunit 2.1.3: 1.25 hours

☐    Subunit 2.1.4: 0.25 hours

☐    Subunit 2.1.5: 0.5 hours

☐  Subunit 2.2: 0.75 hours

Unit2 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, you will be able to: - analyze and describe the rationale for the necessity of the addition of African slaves to the Amerindian slave population in the New World; - analyze and assess the logic for enslavement of Africans by Europeans; and - identify the African ethnic groups enslaved by Europeans, and analyze and describe the logic for those captives’ New World destinations.

2.1 Logic of Enslavement   2.1.1 Death and Enslavement of Amerindian Laborers   - Reading: The Saylor Foundation: Concepcion Saenz-Cambra’s The Atlantic World, 1492–1600: “The Columbian Exchange” Link: The Saylor Foundation: Concepcion Saenz-Cambra’s The Atlantic World, 1492–1600: “The Columbian Exchange” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Download the PDF, and read the section titled “The Columbian Exchange” on pages 23–30. Focus on the section about the impact of Old World diseases on the New World. As you read, consider the following questions: What is the “Columbian Exchange” and what is actually exchanged? What did it help to create? In what ways did it transform societies?
 
Reading this article should take approximately 30 minutes.

 Terms of Use: This article was reposted by The Saylor Foundation
with permission from Concepcion Saenz-Camba. Please note that this
material is under copyright and cannot be reproduced in any capacity
without explicit permission from the copyright holder.  
  • Reading: Wikipedia’s “Juan Ginés de Sepúlveda”

    Link: Wikipedia’s “Juan Ginés de Sepúlveda” (HTML)

    Instructions: Read about the figure Juan Ginés de Sepúlveda. As you read, consider the following question: What was the Valladolid Controversy, and what position did Juan Ginés de Sepúlveda argue?

    Reading this article should take approximately 15 minutes.

    Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareALike 3.0 Unported License. It is attributed to Wikipedia. 

  • Reading: Juan Ginés de Sepúlveda’s Excerpt from The Second Democrates (1547)

    Link: Juan Ginés de Sepúlveda’s Excerpt from The Second Democrates (1547) (HTML)

    Instructions: Read this primary source document. As you read, consider the following questions: How does Sepúlveda characterize Amerindians (Indians), and on what does he base this characterization? What reasons does he give to wage war on Amerindians?

    Reading this article and answering the questions above should take approximately 15 minutes.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

2.1.2 From Amerindian Slavery to African Slavery   - Web Media: Vimeo’s “Las Casas: The Devastation of the Indies: A Brief Account” (1542)

Link: Vimeo’s [“Las Casas: The Devastation of the Indies: A Brief
Account”](http://vimeo.com/1274777) (1542) (Adobe Flash)  
    
 Instructions: Watch this video to get a sense of the atrocities
perpetrated by the Spanish conquistadors in the Americas. In this
video, actor Viggo Mortensen reads an excerpt from Howard Zinn and
Anthony Arnove’s book *Voices of People’s History of the United
States.*


 Watching this video and pausing to take notes should take
approximately 30 minutes.  

 Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a [Creative Commons
Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported
License](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/). It is
attributed to Howard Zinn and Anthony Arnove.
  • Reading: Internet Archive: Bartolome de Las Casas’ A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies (1542): “Preface”

    Link: Internet Archive: Bartolome de Las Casas’ A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies (1542): “Preface” (HTML)

    Instructions: Read the “Preface” to this primary source document. As you read, consider the following questions: How does Bartolome de Las Casas describe the native peoples in Hispaniola and surrounding islands? How does he describe the way Spaniards treated native populations? What were the consequences of this treatment?

    Reading this article and answering the questions above should take approximately 15 minutes.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above. 

  • Reading: Connexions: Dr. James Ross-Nazzal and David White’s “Chapter 4: Slavery and Empire (1441–1770)” Link: Connexions: Dr. James Ross-Nazzal and David White’s “Chapter 4: Slavery and Empire (1441–1770)” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Scroll down to the sections titled “Beginnings of African Slavery” and “Slaves of All Nations,” and read these two brief sections. As you read, consider the following questions: What were some of the reasons Europeans turned to Africans from the West coast of Africa as a source of labor? Where were Africans first enslaved by Europeans? How were African slaves procured?
     
    Reading this article should take approximately 15 minutes.

    Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. It is attributed to Dr. James Ross-Nazzal. 

2.1.3 From Indentured Servitude to African Slavery   - Reading: Sage American History: Henry J. Sage’s “Introduction to American Colonial History” Link: Sage American History: Henry J. Sage’s “Introduction to American Colonial History” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Scroll down to the section titled “The Lives of Indentured Servants,” and read this brief section. Also, click on the links to the two examples of the life of an indentured servant by Frethorne and Mittleberger. As you read, consider the following questions: In what ways did indentured servants address the labor shortage in colonial America? Why might an individual become an indentured servant? What was the average period of service?
 
Reading this article should take approximately 1 hour.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: American History: Gottlieb Mittelberger’s “On the Misfortune Indentured Servants” Link: American History: Gottlieb Mittelberger’s “On the Misfortune Indentured Servants” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Read this primary source document. As you read, consider the following questions: How does Mittelberger describe the sea voyage of indentured servants? What are the circumstances of those who could not pay for their passage once the ship reached land?
     
    Reading this article and answering the questions above should take approximately 15 minutes.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

2.1.4 Why Africans?   - Reading: Connexions: Dr. James Ross-Nazzal and David White’s “Chapter 4: Slavery and Empire (1441–1770)” Link: Connexions: Dr. James Ross-Nazzal and David White’s “Chapter 4: Slavery and Empire (1441–1770)” (HTML)

 Instructions: Scroll down to the sections titled “Slavery in the
Colonies” and “Slavery and the Economics of Empire,” and read these
two brief sections. As you read, consider the following question:
How did the need and use of African slaves differ among the British
colonies?  

 Reading this article and answering the questions above should take
approximately 15 minutes.


 Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a [<span
class="s1">Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported
License</span>](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/). It is
attributed to Dr. James Ross-Nazzal. 

2.1.5 The Advent of Race-Based Slavery   - Reading: Connexions: Dr. James Ross-Nazzal and David White’s “Chapter 4: Slavery and Empire (1441–1770)” Link: Connexions: Dr. James Ross-Nazzal and David White’s “Chapter 4: Slavery and Empire (1441–1770)” (HTML)

 Instructions: Scroll down to the section titled “White Privilege,”
and read this brief section. This reading also covers the topic
outlined in subunit 4.1.1.  

 Reading this article should take approximately 15 minutes.


 Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a [<span
class="s1">Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported
License</span>](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/). It is
attributed to Dr. James Ross-Nazzal. 
  • Reading: Sage American History: Henry J. Sage’s “Virginia Slave Laws”

    Link: Sage American History: Henry J. Sage’s “Virginia Slave Laws” (HTML)

    Instructions: Read this text. As you read, consider the following questions: According to the Virginia Slave Laws, which parent determines the status of a child born in the colony? What effect does Christian baptism have on a slave’s status? What justifications do the laws provide for corporal punishment of slaves? This reading also covers the topic outlined in subunit 4.1.1.

    Reading this article and answering the questions above should take approximately 15 minutes.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

2.2 African Ethnic Groups Brought to America   2.2.1 Africans in the Americas   - Reading: Wikipedia’s “Atlantic Slave Trade”

Link: Wikipedia’s [“Atlantic Slave
Trade”](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlantic_slave_trade) (HTML)


 Instructions: Scroll down to the section titled “New World
Destinations,” and read this brief section. As you read, answer the
following questions: Where did African slaves first arrive in the
new world, and at what rate? Note that this reading also covers the
topic outlined in subunit 6.3.3.  

 Reading this article and answering the question above should take
approximately 15 minutes.


 Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a [Creative Commons
Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported
License](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/). It is
attributed to Wikipedia. 
  • Web Media: Fordham University’s Internet Modern History Sourcebook: “Atlantic Slave Trade: Carriers and Destinations of Enslaved People”

    Link: Fordham University’s Internet Modern History Sourcebook: “Atlantic Slave Trade: Carriers and Destinations of Enslaved People” (gif)

    Instructions: Study this chart. According to the chart, which country transported the largest number of Africans in the Transatlantic Slave Trade? Which region in the Americas received the largest number of Africans from the Transatlantic Slave Trade?

    Studying this image and answering the questions above should take approximately 15 minutes.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

2.2.2 Specific Ethnic Groups   - Reading: Internet Archive’s “Where in Africa Did African Americans Originate?”

Link: Internet Archive’s [“Where in Africa Did African Americans
Originate?”](http://web.archive.org/web/19991006103014/http:/www.panix.com/~mbowen/sf/faq054.htm)
(HTML)  

 Instructions: Read this webpage. As you read, consider the
following question: From which regions did African slaves originate
and which ethnic groups are associated with each region? Note that
this reading also covers the topic outlined in subunit 6.3.3.  

 Reading this article and answering the question above should take
approximately 15 minutes.


 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

2.2.3 The Creation of the African Diaspora   - Reading: The Saylor Foundation’s “Creation of the African Diaspora” Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Creation of the African Diaspora” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Read the brief text. As you read, consider the following questions: What is the African Diaspora, and what regions are included in it? Which New World colonies demanded the most African slaves, and what where were some of the biggest markets? From what regions within Africa did slaves originate? What role did this play in their destination? Where and through what means did enslaved Africans create new communities in the Diaspora?
 
Reading this text and answering the questions above should take approximately 15 minutes.

 Terms of Use: This text is licensed under a [Creative Commons
Attribution 3.0 Unported
License](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/). It is
attributed to The Saylor Foundation.