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The Pros and Cons of the Slave Trade according to The French Allegra Much

The Atlantic Slave trade, transporting African Slave to European Islands in the
Americas, took approimatel! fort! thousand slaving vo!ages that forci"l! carried off
more than eleven million captives#$pg%&&' % Put in holds and treated like cattle, the! (ere
taken a(a! from their land, famil!, and almost ever!thing the! kne(% Man! of the
Africans taken captive (ould die "efore the! even reached the islands% )ften times,
"ecause so man! slaves (ere killed or died of disease, private slave vo!ages didn*t make
a profit and sometimes even lost mone!% So the +uestion most ask is (h! if it (as so
morall! (rong and dehumani,ing and (asn*t al(a!s economicall! successful, (as it
continued on for so man! !ears% The ans(er is mostl! economical "ut there (ere also
religious and also some social standing components according to the French% The one
thing people must understand is that the French often didn*t like to think of the Slaves as
humans "ecause most of them kne( (hat the! (ere doing (as (rong% So "! the time
-o"ert .urand got into the slave trade, he had the idea ingrained in his "rain that he (as
simpl! shipping cargo from Africa to the island colonies in return for sugar and other
things made in the Americas% Man! of the people on slaving vessels didn*t even think
a"out the moralit! of (hat the! (ere doing "ecause it (as done so often and slaves (ere
referred to as cargo% /hen !ou think a"out the (ord cargo, normall! !ou think a"out
items and animals not humans, so that is (hat the! (ere though of% Eventuall! ho(ever
the! did reali,e that (hat the! (ere doing (as (rong and a"olished slaver!% And even at
that time there (ere some (ho (ere in fact against the slave trade%
Economicall!, the slave trade itself (as not al(a!s ver! profita"le0 ho(ever the
mone! made from the Americans, cotton and sugar and other t!pes of goods (as often in
fact profita"le% The! often "rought home full ships (orth of goods from the Americas
even if their slave hold (as not full "! the end of the middle passage% The reason for
enslaving Africans (as the fact that it (as free la"or% The! did not have to pa! the slaves
and the slaves (ere forced to do the (ork% 1nlike the 2ative Americans, the Africans did
not kno( the land, and the! (ere a full ocean a(a! from Africa, so the! had no means of
escaping their captivit!% The! (ould also occasionall! make mone! on the slaves
themselves, "ecause the! used a "arter s!stem (ith the Africans% Prices for slaves (ere in
gold "ut converted into the merchandise that the! had on the ship% The! traded co(r!
shells, Indian cloths, guns, and po(der as (ell as "rand!% -o"ert .urand, for eample,
traded seven or eight kegs of "rand! or fort!3five to fift!3five pieces of linen plattiles
per slave%# The African -o!alt! and Africans (ho sold slaves to European Traders also
had positive effects of the slave trade% The! (ere a"le to get co(r! shells, their currenc!
of mone!, as (ell as guns, gun po(der, cloth, and "rand!% These things the! could not get
from an!(here else "ut the slave traders% It also increased France*s international trade
and helped them to gain (ealth from all over the (orld% It (as as Mullier claimed
necessar! and indispenca"le# $pg 4&' for France economicall!
According to certain Frenchmen there (as the "elief that the! (ere converting slaves
to "e Christians and therefore saving their souls (hether or not the! (ere preserving their
lives% The! "elieved that most Africans (ere not Christian% The! "elieved that the slaves
(ere giving up their freedom in order to receive eternal life and salvation% The! "elieved
it (as their dut! to convert slaves to Catholicism% 1nder the Code 2ior, the la(
governing slaver in Frances Cari""ean colonies, (hich re+uired all slaves to "e "apti,ed
and "uried in hol! ground#$pg 4&'% 5o(ever not all Africans taken to the Cari""ean (ere
non Christian% There (ere several kingdoms such as the kingdom of 6ongo, (ere
actuall! Catholic kingdoms according to the Pope and most of the people there
considered themselves Catholics%
Another reason (as the! "elieved the! (ere saving the slaves from death "! taking
them out of Africa% Mellier*s argument, (as that 2igrate, the place (here most of the
slaves (ere "elieved to come from, (as far over populated, so therefore the! (ere saving
the kingdoms in Africa from famine "! taking a(a! a certain amount of the population%
5o(ever Africa (as not actuall! over populated% The onl! reason people "elieved it (as
(as "ecause of the fact that the slaving ports of Africa (ere densel! populated due to the
fact that ever!one traded there, not 7ust slaves "ut other goods as (ell%The other (a! the!
thought that the! (ere saving the slaves from death is "ecause the! "elieved that, these
people "eing accustomed to make (ar (ith each other, (ould kill their prisoners (ere it
not for thee fact that the! must spare their lives in order to sell them or echange them for
the merchandise that (e "ring on our ships#$pg 48'% The idea that Africans (ould kill
their prisoners (ithout the slave trade (as not true% Most African kingdoms traded
prisoners, held them for ransom, or even sometimes kept them as their o(n personal
servants%
Social standing (as also a ke! in defense for the slave trade% The Europeans vie(ed
Africans different depending on their social and economical status% For eample, the!
thought highl! of the Africans, (ho (ere ro!alt! and respected them, the economicall!
poor Africans, kno(n as negres, ho(ever, (ere vie(ed as naturall! inclined to(ard
theft, larcen!, lust, la,iness and treason9 in general the! are suited onl! to live in
servitude and cultivate the fields of our colonies in the Americas# pg%4: