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How Did Technology Contribute to Slave-Trading?

When the technology of sailing ships changed, adding stern rudders and three masts with many sails, Europeans could sail down the coast of Western Africa. With new ships came new cargo. Some of that new cargo included kidnapped humans.

“From their first contacts,” according to the BBC, European traders began to kidnap Africans to sell as slaves in Europe. In the 17th century, however, things changed when there was an increasing demand for sugar in Europe.

Sugar was a “New World” crop. Plantation owners in the “New World” needed more and more people to work their crops. Those new workers were slaves.

What may have prompted European traders - “from their first contacts” - to kidnap and sell Africans in Europe?

Do you think that skin-color differences played a role in such actions?  Why, or why not? 


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