Slavery and Servitude in the Colonies

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What was the impact of the Middle Passage and Triangular Trade?

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The impact of these things was different for different groups of people and different areas of the world.

The major impact of these things was, of course, on the Africans who were taken from their homes and taken to the New World as slaves.  These people experienced terrible physical conditions aboard the ships on the Middle Passage.  They experienced terror and heartbreak.  Many of them died in the passage and those who did not experienced the trauma of being enslaved in an unfamiliar land among people who were not their own.  This was a terrible impact and it is the most important impact, in human terms, of the Middle Passage and the Triangular Trade.

These they things also affected societies, hurting African societies and helping (at least in economic terms) American and English society.  African societies from which slaves were taken were devastated by the slave trade.  They lost large numbers of people in the primes of their lives.  This hurt them economically, but it also hurt them culturally as they experienced the trauma of losing so many people and being unable to do anything about it.  By contrast, American and English societies benefitted from the trade.  They got to reap the benefits’ of the slaves’ labor.  Shippers in England and the northern colonies made money transporting the slaves and selling them.  There was money to be made making slave ships, insuring slave cargos, financing slave ship voyages, and more.  Slavery can be seen as a major foundation of the American colonial (and, later, the US) economy.

In these ways, the Triangular Trade and the Middle Passage had serious impacts on a variety of people and societies.

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