Crash Course World History #24: The Atlantic Slave Trade

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Crash Course World History #24: The Atlantic Slave Trade

  • Key Concept 4.2 New Forms of Social Organization and Modes of Production

    While the world’s productive systems continued to be heavily centered on agricultural production throughout this period, major changes occurred in agricultural labor, the systems and location of manufacturing, gender and social structures, and environmental processes. A surge in agricultural productivity resulted from new methods in crop and field rotation and the introduction of new crops. Economic growth also depended on new forms of manufacturing and new commercial patterns, especially in long-distance trade. Political and economic centers within regions shifted, and merchants’ social status tended to rise in various states. Demographic growth—even in areas such as the Americas, where disease had ravaged the population—was restored by the eighteenth century and surged in many regions, especially with the introduction of American food crops throughout the Eastern Hemisphere. The Columbian Exchange led to new ways of humans interacting with their environments. New forms of coerced and semi-coerced labor emerged in Europe, Africa and the Americas and affected ethnic and racial classifications and gender roles.

    Traditional peasant agriculture increased and changed, plantations expanded, and demand for labor increased. These changes both fed and responded to growing global demand for raw materials and finished products.

    • The growth of the plantation economy increased the demand for slaves in the Americas.

    • Colonial economies in the Americas depended on a range of coerced labor

      • Chattel slavery

    As new social and political elites changed, they also restructured new ethnic, racial and gender hierarchies.

    • Some notable gender and family restructuring occurred including the demographic changes in Africa that resulted from the slave trades (as well as dependence of European men on Southeast Asian women for conducting trade in that region or the smaller size of European families).


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  2. Watch “Crash Couse in World History: The Atlantic Slave Trade” without taking any notes.

  3. Watch “Crash Couse in World History: The Atlantic Slave Trade” a second time. We will pause the video as needed so that you can answer the questions.

Name: ________________________________________________ Date: ___________________ Period: ____________

Crash Course World History: The Atlantic Slave Trade

  1. How many slaves were forcibly moved from Africa to the Americas from 1500-1880 CE?

  1. Approximately how many of those died during the voyage?

  1. What two areas received the most slaves from Africa? Which area received the fewest?

  1. What are the three main agricultural products grown by the institution of slavery? (Use map to display)

  1. What three products did European usually trade with Africa to obtain slaves to take to the Americas? (Use map to display)


  1. Describe the treatment of slaves brought from Africa to the Americas?

  1. Compare slavery in North America (US) to that in Brazil and the Caribbean.


United States

  1. How did slavery in the Atlantic compare to previous forms of slavery? Explain.

  1. Slavery as defined by sociologist Orlando Patterson:

The permanent, violent, and personal domination of natally alienated and generally dishonored persons”

Explain what is meant by this statement in your own words:

  1. Atlantic slavery drew from previous models of slavery





Judeo Christian Society



  1. Which two groups helped define the attitudes that characterized Atlantic slavery trade?

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