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Extending the FrontiersEssays on the New Transatlantic Slave Trade Database$
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David Eltis and David Richardson

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780300134360

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300134360.001.0001

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The Foundations of the System: A Reassessment of the Slave Trade to the Spanish Americas in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries

The Foundations of the System: A Reassessment of the Slave Trade to the Spanish Americas in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries

Chapter:
(p.63) Chapter 2 The Foundations of the System: A Reassessment of the Slave Trade to the Spanish Americas in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries
Source:
Extending the Frontiers
Author(s):

Antonio de Almeida Mendes

Publisher:
Yale University Press
DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300134360.003.0002

This chapter explains how the 350 years of forced migration from Africa to the Americas proved to be the foundation stone for the slave trade to the Spanish Americas in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The first 150 years of slave trading in the Atlantic saw the transatlantic traffic gradually overwhelm the trade to Europe and the Atlantic islands, becoming the main human commerce in the area. Generally, slaves were not as easily available on the African coast in the sixteenth century as in later centuries. The sugar sector in the Spanish Caribbean bowed out of export activities for more than a century, and silver production declined on the mainland from the mid-seventeenth century. The later traders came to operate within an environment that closely resembled free trade, something which the Spanish themselves could never contemplate until the late eighteenth century.

Keywords:   forced migration, slave trade, Spanish Americas, transatlantic traffic, human commerce

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