Atlantic Slave Trade (The)

Overview of the slave trade out of Africa


The Atlantic slave trade from Africa to the New World might well have been the largest maritime migration in history. The reason for this maritime movement was to obtain labour as the indigenous population of the New World had declined rapidly because of its lack of immunity against imported pathogens. In total about 12 million Africans were forcibly embarked and because of the high mortality aboard, about 10 million slaves were disembarked in: Brazil (45%), the British, French, Dutch, and Danish Caribbean (37%), Spanish America (11 %) and North America (4%). In spite of the growing volume of the trade and the increasing demand for slaves, the Atlantic slave trade was abolished during the first decades of the 19th century due to humanitarian pressures.