Impacts Of The Triangular Trade To Britain

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Introduction

The present day American history cannot be written without mentioning the impact of the triangular trade. The business boomed in the mid-17th century and ended at the beginning of the 1800s. The trade was conducted in three geographical locations which were North America, Africa and Europe. The trading system was established to create a trading balance between the three major trading regions. The vast knowledge in navigation and direction of winds enabled traders to navigate over long distances to reach their destined trading area. In the trade, the West African region provided the Americas with mostly slaves and ivory. The Americas on the other hand supplied the European market with sugar. The trade was mutual and on this perspective, Britain supplied Africa and Americas with manufactured goods. To some extent, slaves were also shipped from Africa direct to Europe to act as laborers in industries. The continent that suffered the most consequences of the trans-Atlantic slave trade was Africa. The forced capture of slaves made Africa extremely depopulated.

Whereas Africa suffered negative economic consequences, the Americas and Europe amassed large sums of wealth derived from import and export of products mainly slave trade. An intriguing fact is that although a vast majority of slaves were taken from Africa, the South American region contributed a considerable number of slaves to both North America and New England. The earliest participants in the Trans-Atlantic trade were the Spanish sailors.

Slaves obtained from Africa, the Caribbean and South America were used to work in sugarcane plantations in North America. With a large proportion of the North American region acting as a British colony, products from the Americas were shipped to Britain. During the trade, the trade between Africa and America was termed as the Middle Passage. The trade was called middle passage in the sense that slaves especially those from Africa were transported in sub human conditions.

The trade brought vast economic prosperity to America with cities such as Boston vastly showing economic development during the trading period. The sugar plants produced sugar and molasses which in turn was sold to New England colonies. The exchange of goods and services led to development of a class of wealthy merchants who acted as brokers between North America and New England.

There was a rapid growth of rum making plants in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. These plants sprung up due to the market demand of rum in both the Americas and Africa. The ship making industry too gained ground in the 1650s with more wealthy merchants in the American region wanting to travel to both Africa and Europe to search for markets for the goods they manufactured.

With the American region enjoying economic success, Britain; a state that had colonized the North American region enjoyed industrial growth with raw materials from Africa and Asia went to Britain where they were processed, packed and sold in Europe, Africa as well as America. Vast amounts of financial resources were pumped into the industrial and manufacturing sector because the demand for manufactured and processed goods mainly in America was high.

The presence of slaves meant that Britain witnessed a significant growth in terms of economic growth because slaves provided cheap labor. The availability of cheap labor and access to raw materials from Africa in the 1750s made Britain to greatly prosper until the state became iconic on matters that concerned industrial revolution. The cotton and textile mills became iconic in what the world termed as the first and second industrial revolution. Sugar imported from the Americas was not fully refined. The sugar refining companies were created to match the quality of sugar the rich people in the European, Asian and American market desired. The main aspect that made the British economy grow significantly was because the British rulers preferred African slaves to work in their industries. Key aspects that made slaves from the west African region favored was because they were disease resistant, physically gifted and had a lot of energy to work in cotton, textile and steel mills for long periods of time without exhaustion.

The unequal trade between the three regions with the British market gaining more in terms of commercial and industrial development meant that the British economy in 1734 grew significantly faster than the other world regions. This, sparked the rise in banking and insurance` sector. Most financial institutions found a business opportunity to exploit the demand for banking, provision of loans and acquisition of insurance cover. In 1750, it is estimated that over 75% of the British economy was generated from slave trade and taxation of slave ships. Wealthy merchants build fine mansions from enormous profits generated from the trans-Atlantic trade. An example of a bank that prospered during this period was the Bank of England which provided loans to help establish new industries. Because the financial institutions were limited in number, interest rates were high.

 

Slave trade had a major cultural impact which negatively affected slaves from Africa. They often were viewed as being less humans and for this reason they never enjoyed the status and freedom the Britons enjoyed. Although in 1800s, the British government took measures to fight racism, the concept that emerged during the Triangular where Africans were ranked as the most primitive people in the human race are still felt today with incidences of racial abuses being reported daily in Britain.

There was also development of ports in different cities and towns in Britain. Here, ships from Africa anchored and brought slaves who were used as laborers in steel, cotton and textile industries. The ports acted as a major economic prosperity location with traders purchasing food and housing at the time they were in England. Major ports that helped boost the economic growth of cities such as Liverpool. London, Bristol and Chester. Ancient records indicate that the town of Liverpool controlled over 75% of the total British overseas exploits.

There was exploration of new markets where British Merchants sought to sell their product. After enjoying dominance of the Triangular trade Britain found the West Indies as the best market for textile products. Most Indians adored the newly designed outfits and therefore bought them at higher prices and in bulk.

With the increased number of slaves in Europe and Americas, new cultures were adopted on either races. Most African slaves embraced Christianity. On another perspective, elements of the African culture infiltrated in the America and Britain. The most significant one was introduction of Jazz by African slaves in Louisiana in 1855. Jazz music quickly took root is the coastal slave port of New Orleans and eventuall.............


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