Focus: The nature and impact of the slave trade between West Africa and the American South


Content and concepts


·         West Africa before the European slave trade

·         The nature of slavery in West Africa before Europeans

·         Slavery in the American south

-       Plantations: tobacco, rice, sugar cane and cotton

-       Reasons for using slave labour

-       How slaves were captured, sold and transported from West Africa

-       Slave markets

-       Numbers of slaves that were taken to America

-       What happened to the raw materials that slaves produced


·         The impact of the transatlantic slave trade on slaves

-       What it was like to be a plantation slave in the American South

o   Slave culture in songs and stories

o   Resistance to slavery: individual responses, e.g. sluggishness, passivity, indifference, shirking, alcoholism, flight, suicide, arson, murdering owners

o   Rebellion against slavery

o   Nat Turner’s revolt 1831

o   Joseph Cinque and the Amistad mutiny 1839

o   The Underground Railroad (an informal network of secret routes and safe houses used by escaping slaves)

o   Harriet Tubman: slave who escaped to freedom, and helped other slaves to escape

o   The story of John Brown and his mission to abolish slavery


·         The impact of the transatlantic slave trade on the economies of:

-       West Africa

-       America and Britain

-       Gains for America and Britain and negative impact on West Africa


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