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HIST 278 Week 5 Notes

by: Lynde Wangler

HIST 278 Week 5 Notes HIST 278

Lynde Wangler
GPA 3.836

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These notes cover lecture and readings discussed in recitation.
History of the Transatlantic Slave Trade
Lisa Lindsay
Class Notes
History if TAST
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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Lynde Wangler on Sunday February 14, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to HIST 278 at University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill taught by Lisa Lindsay in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 13 views. For similar materials see History of the Transatlantic Slave Trade in History at University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill.


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Date Created: 02/14/16
HIST 278 Week 5 Notes Beyond Pocahontas: The English Colonies in the 1600s I. Introduction: the first Africans come to Jamestown II. Profits and labor in Jamestown III. British and French colonies in the Caribbean IV. The Dutch change everything a. Attacks on Portuguese trade and colonies b. Influence on British and French Caribbean colonies c. Example of Barbados V. Other Europeans enter the slave trade a. Trading companies b. Effects in Virginia VI. Conclusions: Why African Slaves?  Early Colonial Spanish America and Brazil? o Portuguese needed slaves to work plantations in Brazil o Africans were less susceptible to illness and disease than the natives were o Portuguese already had access to African trade networks; slavery was a pre-existing institution o Supply and demand dictated that this route was a good choice  1619, first slaves brought to Jamestown century-long history in America before Africans got to VA o Only 20 Africans initially; landed by Dutch pirates and stolen from a Portuguese vessel landed African captives at English colony and traded them with colonists for provisions in return o At this point, colonists were struggling to survive they did not take advantage of any help that they could have gotten from the natives; they arrived during a time of drought and subsequently experienced famine (500 settlers quickly became 60) in response, VA co. sent more colonists o this was an isolated event there was no economy that had the demand or means to pay for slaves (that took most of the next century to become a reality) o Netherlands, France, Britain got involved in the 1600s  The Jamestown Fiasco o Tobacco saves VA; John Rolfe successfully crossbred native strains of tobacco with West Indian tobacco (married Pocahontas) turning a profit by the 1660s  Sources of Labor??? o Native peoples – NOT an option; the colonists were not strong enough to coerce/subdue them o English & Irish – indentured servants, mostly poor white people and debtors or kidnapped individuals, signed up to work for a period of time in exchange for passage to American colonies and IF they survived, they received land (about 50 acres) o Mortality rate was VERY high (indentured servants hardly ever lived out their indenture periods)  high risk, high reward  Curtin: semi-slavery their contracts/labor could be purchased and sold, even though they themselves are not considered chattel o In the 60s/70s, there was a booming tobacco economy but an absence of African slaves  Spanish “claimed” most of the islands of the Caribbean but… o In the early 1600s, French, Dutch, and English come and start settlements on the islands various Northern Europeans fought wars with Spain (during time period of the Protestant Reformation) o In the early 1600s people were sent to establish colonies on the periphery of Spanish and Portuguese empires just to agitate the Spanish  There were privateers and raiders served as constant nuisance  thought that might set the stage for a bigger conflict  The French and British people of these colonies grew tobacco, indigo, cotton, etc. and did not profit too much but still needed labor  turned to white indentured servants o Shift to slavery came with growing sugar economy in the British and French West Indies  Sugar cultivation in the Indies/Caribbean had to do with wars in Europe; Netherlands trying to break away from the Spanish empire and also fighting Portugal at the same time most effective way to fight was to attack Spanish and Portuguese colonial resources, which they did in three ways: o 1) Dutch West India Co. – empowered the company to undertake military ventures, to colonize, and essentially to do the government’s work; they were trying to steal supplies/goods/etc. o 2) Landed an expedition in N. Portuguese Brazil and fought the Portuguese on the ground; they were able to overcome P. forces and Pernambuco became a Dutch colony took over the sugar plantations as well, in the process o 3) Launched attacks on Portuguese ports in Africa (El mina and Angola) to stymy labor source; they established their own posts  they know had sources for trade in Africa after taking over the Portuguese business  Involvement in the slave trade: o Portuguese o Dutch – second Europeans to get involved in the slave trade  1600s, Dutch gains were reversed and they were expelled from the areas; no more colonies so… they sold their services to British colonists (offer to establish sugar industry effectively brought the sugar plantation complex to British colonies and established the sugar industry; also supplied British with slaves (this was when Br. Was running out of sources of labor because indentured servitude was unreliable to Barbados and Jamaica (people would go to VA instead); also people were dying too quickly  Dutch entrepreneurs became the answer to the problem because they had access to labor (Africans)  Barbados – easternmost of Caribbean islands o Very small; easier to get there from Africa; good soil for growing sugar (1640s took off) o Sugar was the principal crop o Most wealth and most populated of Britain’s colonies (in the 1680s)  Jamaica (was close behind) o 1680s – plantation complex had come to the Western Hemisphere  Dutch had broken the Spanish monopoly and then others wanted in (France, Britain, etc.)  Other Europeans Enter the Slave Trade: o French and British chartered companies  Dutch West India co.  French West Indies co.  Royal African co. (England)  English entered in 1676 and went all in; HUGE investment in the slave trade right from the start o Planters in VA now had the potential to buy slaves on the English colonial market o Conditions in VA were improving and people were living long enough to fulfill their indenture and earn plots of land o African slaves had previously been more expensive to purchase and transport but they became the more attractive option from an economical standpoint  For the plantation societies of the early Americas (NE Brazil, Barbados, and the Chesapeake), how did the planters meet their labor needs? o Why or why not slavery? o Why or why not Africans? Cultures of Slavery in the Charter Generations I. Generations of Slavery II. Atlantic Creoles a. Definition b. In Africa c. In American slavery III. Creolization IV. Examples a. Virginia b. Brazil V. Conclusions  Charter Generations: peoples who were the first arrivals, their children and sometimes their grandchildren o Brazil (mid-1500s) and VA (1600s) o Different from plantation generations – those forced to grow a profitable staple crop (required more slaves and was harder work) o Revolutionary generations – those who lived through great upheavals that offered the promise of freedom (but often served only to revitalize slavery) o Migration generation – descendants of Africans who faced their own forced migrations (after slavery had ended)  Recap  first slaves in Jamestown were stolen by the Dutch from a Portuguese vessel and traded for provisions; colonists baptized then, gave them each Christian names, and sent them to work  “Charter” Generations of Slavery: o Scope for gaining eventual freedom o Labor forces were mixed – enslaved Africans and indentured whites/others were working side by side  same working conditions and same living conditions o Flexibility of social categories and social interactions o Some autonomy; many types of work; considered a “society with slaves” NOT a slave society  Atlantic Creoles: o There were many Atlantic creoles (distinctive feature of early societies where slavery was being established) o A person of European descent born in the West Indies or Spanish America o A person of the Atlantic world who was familiar with multiple cultures considered cosmopolitans, drawing skills and cultural elements from multiple Atlantic societies  Poll: Where would you be most likely to find Atlantic Creoles? o Answer: all of the above (Portugal, Spain, Barbados, etc.) o People had to learn how to communicate o Had to learn the culture and the etiquette o Became culturally worldly o Also Portugal and Spain  cultural hybrids  Societies around Kingdoms: (Kongo and Ndongo) o Christianity spread and with it knowledge and awareness of Portugal presence affected increased worldliness and cosmopolitan peoples o Creoles were prevalent in the Americas during the charter period o Africans may have maintained some of their background cultures but did have to adapt rapidly  “Creolization” vs. “Retention” interpretations: o Process of cultural mixing/assimilation vs. retention of culture o One Argument – African cultures barely survived the middle passage; African slaves had various, dissimilar backgrounds; cultural change was most significant; creolization was rapid due to trauma of voyage and heterogeneity o Second Argument – (Thornton) distinct African cultures did survive the middle passage; most African slaves in any given area came from the same or similar places in Africa; cultural continuity was significant; Creolization occurred fairly slowly o They were a minority so they did have to adapt very quickly o African origins (primarily West Central Africa) in the first two centuries  Northeastern Brazil  Northeastern Brazil ex.: o Mid-1500s began to import slaves to produce sugar; the vast majority th were West Central Africans (very large number in the 17 century)  Formed a cultural “block” retained language and cultural customs o Ritual Retained: Kilundu (in Brazil) most prevalent healing ritual from W.C. Africa in Brazil at this time (music and dancing)call down spirit to possess spiritual leader who could then cure illnesses and provide divine solutions/interventions for any problem; this ritual happened frequently (missionaries hated it soooo…they kept very good notes on it) o The problem they were facing was enslavement – divine intervention was necessary (also for physical ailments, bad masters, social issues, etc. o Reciprocity of creolization demonstrated by white nuns who performed the ritual ; they didn’t believe in it but they still knew of it well enough to perform a replica of Kilundu o By the 19 century “Kilundu” became known as a song and dance  Process of Creolization in VA: o Small group of Africans had to adapt to a larger group of Europeans o “Portrait of a Negro” c. 1630 (drawing)  Anthony Johnson – arrived in VA in 1621; 1622, Indians staged an attack and killed many colonists but he survived; several years later, he married a woman named Mary who was brought to his plantation and they married and eventually purchased themselves and some land  He was one of about 20 freed Africans at the time; 1650s, he had amassed a 250 acre estate staggeringly large and impressive In 1665 he sold his land and bought land to move to on the eastern shore of Maryland  They were largely successful in life – they had their own slaves, used the legal system, and left their heirs sizeable estates  This is a demonstration of rapid creolization Both Anthony and his wife had to adapt quickly in order for all of this to happen  Much different context from N.E. Brazil – How would you expect the lives of African descended people in VA to change with the expansion of plantation slavery? Discussion #3 Davis  FOUR cultural preconditions for enslaving Africans:  Slavery is an accepted institution  Arab precedent set for enslaving and transporting slaves via ship from Africa  Trade network expanded from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic and across to the Americas  Racist stereotypes  biblical interpretation transmitted from Muslims to Christians  Negative connotations and symbolism of the color black  Greco-Roman precedent for slavery  Slavery was institutionalized early on and in succession (Mediterranean to Atlantic to Americas) Williams  Economic argument  Indentured servitude slavery because it filled the labor gap  Rise of the plantation complex  Forced labor was needed for sugar because it was grueling work that no one would voluntarily do (even for pay) racism is a justifying ideology  Africans are easily identifiable as outsiders Eltis  Europeans were less likely to enslave other Europeans  Common identity – even basest members of society were not considered for slavery  Cultural bias (read RRQ) Richard Ligone  Indentured servants were treated worse than slaves  “cultural prejudice” vs. “racism”  they didn’t really seem to think that there was anything inherently inferior about African peoples  Masters/slaves/servants: social classifications  Continuing debate about origin of racism  staunch progression from culturally different to inherently inferior (intellectually, physically, etc.)


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