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Ramifications of slavery and impact

Slavery was in existence from antiquity and known history. It assumed a more institutionalized economic and commercialized form which was impregnable and touched every facet of human society.

The continent of Africa described by the west as dark has seen many tragedies without respite. With feverish heat Portugal, Spain with every other European nation competed to aggrandize themselves especially to find a sea route to the East to grab the famed wealth of India. By a Papal Bull, the world was divided between Portugal and Spain.

The other European nations contested this division and entered the market for African slaves who were treated like any other commercial commodity for exploitation. Naked aggression, diplomatic decent financial and economic, enslavement, moral and physical abuse and religious imperialism and conversion were the hallmarks of their world domination.

Slavery profitable

In the champions league the players in slavery were England, Portual, Spain, Denmark, France, Sweden, Switzerland, Germany, Dutch, Lithuania, Belgium, Italian cities.

Thus slavery became profitable and internationalized. The Monarchs and Governments of Europe were directly and financially and even personally involved in this horrendous and despicable exercise. Kings and Queens invested in slavery.

i. Carriers

				Slaves		Slaving
Country				Voyages		Transported	Period

Portugal (including Brazil)	30,000		4,650,000	425
Spain (including Cuba)		4,000		1,600,000	425
France (including French 
West Indies)			4,200		1,250,000	300
Holland				2,000		  500,000	320
Britain				12,000		2,600,000	350
British North America & US	1,500		  300,000	200
Denmark				  250		   50,000	200
Other				  250		   50,000

Total			        54,200		11,000,000
ii. Slaves Delivered to
Country							Transported

Brazil							4,000,000
Spanish empire (including Cuba)				2,500,000
British West Indies					2,000,000
French West Indies (including Cayenne)			1,600,000
British North America & US				  500,000
Dutch West Indies (including Surname)			  500,000
Danish West Indies					   28,000
Europe (including Portugal, Canary Islands,
Madeira, Azores, etc)					  200,000

Total							11,328,000
iii. Origins

Senegambia (in Argiun), Sierra Leone			2,000,000
Windward Coast						  250,000
Ivory Coast						  250,000
Gold Coast (Ashanti)					1,500,000
Slave Coast (Dahomey, Adra, Oyo)			2,000,000
Benin to Calabar					2,000,000
Cameroons/Cabon						  250,000
Loango							  750,000
Congo/Angola						3,000,000
Mozambique/Madagascar					1,000,000

Total Leaving African Ports				13,000,000
iv. Labour

Country							Transported

(First employment in the Americas)
Sugar Plantations					5,000,000
Coffee Plantations					2,000,000
Mines							1,000,000
Domestic Labour						2,000,000
Cotton Fields						  500,000
Coca Fields						  250,000
Building						  250,000

Total							11,000,000

To name a few, Queen Elizabeth, Portuguese and Spanish Kings German Elector Danish, French, Belgium, Dutch Kings. The Atlantic slave trade was for much of its long life a direct governmental enterprise in the countries concerned.

Before I embark on deeper matters in the slave trade it should be stated that the Negro slaves became the strength and sinews of the western world. Calender of State Papers, Colonial Series.

Even with Obama we have not reached a find state of equality.

Industrial revolution

In this regard Prostlehway described the slave trade as the first principle and foundation of all the rest, the mainspring of the machine which set every wheel in motion.

To elaborate in economic jargon, the capital formation of Europe which paved the way for the industrial revolution of Europe was based on slavery.

There was the Triangular trade, England, France, Portugal, Spain with other European nations and then with colonial America.

The above slaving nations supplied the ships and transport. The merchandise consisted of the unfortunate African people.

The result was the establishment of colonial plantations and incipient industries which led to the Industrial Revolution.

This was the scenario for centuries till the end of the 19th century and thereafter assumed various hues and guises.

The economic take off and the building of empires was solely depended on the African trade, the looting of South America and the rape of Asia. The capital formation of Europe was based mainly on the African trade in slavery and to a great extent the exploitation of Asia, the cultural flower of the world.

Now I will bring out the infrastructural development of these nations. Networks of seaboard harbours and towns were developed in the European nations.

To name a few in England, Liverpool, London, Bristol, Dartmouth the naval academy, Glasgow, Manchester, Birmingham and Sheffield etc. In France the same phenomenon is seen with ports like Rouen etc.

The Dutch who were one of the most active in this regard and was the financial centre in Europe with Amsterdam having over 10,000 ships Copenhagen in Denmark etc, the shipping industry saw a phenomenal growth and navies were built accordingly for the completion among these nations. Sweden and Germanic Prussia were not to be outdone.

Portugal and Spain the pioneers embarked on the same mission of developing seaboard harbours, towns and their internal transport system like the other European nations.

In the first stage these nations did not have the vast facilities to spread their tentacles apart from Human merchandise whereas in the next stage they went on to control these sources and African slave labour was harnessed for mining and plantations.

Growth - Industries

The African trade saw the industrialization of Europe. In the metallurgical industries we see the growth of steel, copper, brass and the items required for the African and American slave trade.

1. Slave trade proper
2. Auxiliary trades
3. New trades fuelled by the above
4. New items of consumption sugar which was unprecedented, sugar refining and its secondary industries like Rum. etc

b. Cotton manufactures which was also unprecedented and new locations of industry Lancashire Mills etc.
c. Woolen.
d. The nascent armament industry saw rapid and vast growth from the time gunpowder came to the west. It was used by the Chinese on a very limited scale. The westerners sophisticated its use as the chief component as an arm of conquest.

Armaments industry was first for indigenous use and exports which formed during the course of time the most important source of a countries income and this became the most important segment of a countries economy.

U.S. This spilled into other industries which are equally economically viable to these countries. We also see the Armament industry on a scale with technological advancement and its secondary industries which is stupendous.

Important role

Mining industries like gold elmina and silver polosti in Africa and America respectively. The mining of diamonds and other gems on an unprecedent Scale Chemicals too assumed an important role with time. Strategic raw materials came along with it.


The rise of the modern banking system accompanies and is linked with the slave trade.

The banking system was primitive but with the exigencies and requirements of commerce and the nature of the slave trade we see a new chapter in banking.

Venice and Genoa lost its position and new centres in England, Netherlands, France, Switzerland, Denmark, Germanic Prussia took an impregnable position in the financial world Capital entered each of these countries in various volume and each with a distinct flavour.

Portugal and Spain brought in gold and silver initially, loot and then the profits of the slave trade. Later there was the inflow of capital from the Plantations.

Financial Mobility

All these required financial mobility Spain brought in gold and silver in volume and value never seen before in the world, this country’s banking system was left mainly to Amsterdam.

Modern writers of Banking do not give consideration or weight to the slave trade as a significant factor in the development of Banking either through ignorance or deliberate attempts to hide the ignomious truth which I believe is the case.

Banks in Europe had then branches and correspondents in the Americas. The following are some of great Banking houses that were involved in the slave trade.

Sensational collapse

The development of joint stock companies came with the development of the trade throughout Europe. In England there was the Royal African Co. which was set up exclusively for slaving, South Sea Island Co which resulted in a sensational collapse was another among many.

Insurance Companies like Lloyds with a network of branches in the Caribbean and Europe was set up for the insurance of slaving expeditions Industrial Companies were incorporated under new legislation over Europe and Americas and financing was extended by the state and banks. The entire system was orchestrated for slaving and the exploitation of Asia.


The effect of slave trading on Africa was devastating. The entire western side of Africa was depopulated. On a very conservative estimate 11 million were transported to the Caribbean and Americas. The table elsewhere gives a graphic picture and is self explanatory.

To be continued


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