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History of the Atlantic Slave Trade

The Atlantic slave trade in historical perspective

The Atlantic slave trade was a historical event of great import and far-reaching consequences. Whether they wished it or not, few people who lived during the 18th and 19th centuries could avoid being touched in some way by the powerful economic forces, violence and wide-spread social dislocations occasioned by the slave trade. Stretching from the Gold Coast to the Americas and from the Horn of Africa to the far-flung corners of Asia — millions of people were caught up in the upheaval. This guide is an attempt to simplify the research process by offering a few useful tips and introducing students to a wide-range of primary and secondary resources of relevance to the study of the slave trade. 

Images of the Atlantic Slave Trade

Carrying a Sedan Chair or Palanquin, Ile De France (Mauritius), 1818

Rum Distillery, Antigua, West Indies, 1823

Sugar Plantation Mill Yard, Antigua, West Indies, 1823

Hold of Brazilian Slave Ship, 1845

Sugar Factory, Plantation Asuncion, Cuba, 1857

Slaves Waiting for Sale, Richmond, Virginia, 1861