How Significant Was the Slave Trade in the Years 1680-1763

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How significant was the slave trade in the growth of the British Empire in the years c1680-1763? The slave trade also known as the transatlantic slave trade led to the greatest forced migration of a human population in history. Millions of Africans were transported to the Caribbean, North America and South America. It is accurate to say that the slave trade played a significant role in the years 1680-1763 due to the settlement of slaves in the colonies of the Americas. At the start of the eighteenth century Britain’s colonies relied heavily on the slave trade for their economic development. The slave trade was a result of labor shortage in the colonies, itself in turn created by the desire of European colonists to exploit new world land, resources and cash crops for capital profits. Prior to Africans being transported to the Americas to be used for slave labor and forced to work on the plantations, indentured servants were used to work on these plantations. Indentured servants were men who came mainly from Europe to work in fields and on plantations in North America and across the Caribbean. A lot of these Indentured servants were convicts which had to work in the colonies as a form of punishment, but they were free to go after 4-7 years of working. They were given ‘freedom dues’ which usually included a piece of land and supplies. Indentured servants were also rewarded with money for their time working. African slaves replaced these indentured servants due to the belief by Europeans that Africans would be able to adjust better to the harsh heat. African slaves were also a cheaper option, as they did not get paid for their work on the plantations. This was because slaves taken to the Americas were seen as property to their owners and an owner could treat a slave as he wished and therefore owners chose not to pay their slaves. Slaves were used in the
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