Transatlantic Slave Trade

The era of slavery remains one of the darkest periods in dark Africa and the World as concerns humanity and ethics. It’s the statement of historians that over 200 million slaves from Africa were traded during this era. The development of slave trade in Europe is attributed to the Portuguese, Who in the early 1440,had began trading slaves with the west African tribes and merchants , later the British and French expanded their territories and joined in the then lucrative business. However by 16th and 17th century, Britain had become a major force in the trade.According to historians, a number of factors may have contributed to the development of this trade. firstly their was increased demand for slave, secondly the European countries believed slave trade would  encourage economic prosperity in their country, also slaves were needed to work in the expanded sugar and cotton plantations in Europe and America. Thus the need for free labor for the sugar and cotton plantation, prompted the Europeans to seek free labor since they could not enslave their own kindred, they focused Africa. Some scholars however claim that European used religion to justify, their barbarian action by claiming, Africans are descendants of Ham and thus were condemned to slavery.Transatlantic trade is a trade that occurred across the Atlantic Ocean between Europe, America and Africa. It’s also known as the triangular trade. One of the major reason s that has made this trade lucrative and controversial at the same time was the selling of slaves’. Slaves were usually bought from Africa by Europeans and then shipped to America where, they were subjected to hard labor in sugar and cotton plantations. Slaves in Africa were obtained through raids on weaker states and tribes, others were war captives, where communities during war would capture individuals and sell them to Europeans for exchange of, wine, firearms and clothes; it’s believed that the inter-tribal wars between African tribes contributed a lot to the advancement of this trade. Other Africans sold were individuals banished from communities, such as, criminals, heretics, and indebted people.However later Europeans would capture Africans forcefully, and condemn them to slavery.  “the long-term interests of the major companies, these merchants cared little how slaves were acquired, and did not scruple at kidnapping or inciting raids on peaceful villages.”(Davis, 183) .Once sold or captured, this slaves were stored along the coast, in houses where they would be sold like animals to respective owners. Later they were shipped to Europe and the America, it’s in these ships and in the waters that some succumbed to diseases and even throne into the oceans.The Trans Atlantic trade and especially the slave trade had great, social, economic and psychological impact on the African continent especially to societies along the western African coast. Economically slave trade led to emergence of powerful, empires such as the Ashanti Empire. However it’s believed that the trade undermined the economic prosperity of the African societies. it also led to political instability in  that their was increased war fare between communities, and finally it lead to suffering of the slaves and families of the captured.The transatlantic slave trade differed to the Islam slave trade in that whereas the Europeans treated Africans as animals, the Muslims regarded them as human beings and even assimilated and intermarried. Also whereas the Europeans were buying African for labor the Muslims incorporated them as servants and soldiers. In the muslin trade, majority of salves were women while the transatlantic trades most were men.NapoleonNapoleon was a general and great emperor of France who according to historians achieved what many have tried to achieve for a long time with ease. He is considered one of the greatest generals of all time; he conquered Europe and became the undisputed leader of Europe.  Though known for his military achievements, napoleons contributions to France and Europe in general was tremendousNapoleon introduced the “Napoleonic code”, this was a law book which was aimed at making the management of his extensive and vast empire, easier and efficiently. This code later became the foundation and pillar of government laws in Europe.  “The Code introduced the concept of a unified, logical system based on general principles of law, thereby exporting the ideas of the French Revolution beyond French borders, to enemies and allies alike” (Chapman 1).In the field of education, Napoleon is credited for having greatly influenced educational development in France. For instance he came into agreement with the pope, in which the pope, accepted to turnover schools known as” parochial schools” to the government.” So the state took control of the schools and strove to make them the nursery of intelligence, morality, and patriotism” (Durant 127).He also created special schools for mining, philosophy and astrology.During his reign in France, he is considered to have brought into light the Emancipation of European Jews .According to scholars Napoleon accepted and sought to reconcile differences between Jews and Christians, by debating on “the problems affecting the relations of Christians and Jews” (Durant 175).He subsequently granted the Jews the right to own property, and worship. He also introduced the metric system, which was adopted later across Europe.In the field of military Napoleons warfare and battles are still learned in military academies all over Europe. The renowned and controversial military theorist Carl von Clausewitz described him as a genius in the operational art of war. His military tactics still influenced and do influence armies in modern world. He simply changed history in regards to the art of war.Also Napoleon is credited for discouraging aristocracy and monarchy, during his time napoleon encouraged free thinking and once declared that all individuals were equal, thus establishing, freedom of citizens.  Under his leadership cities flourished making France the most beautiful city in the world.  in essence “Napoleon was a progressive force, establishing political stability, restoring morality….modernizing….codifying law….ending or mitigating feudalism….establishing schools, beautifying cities….encouraging science(Durant,776).hence according to Durant  “Helped by his prodding, Europe advanced half a century during the fifteen years of his rule” (776).Though his achievements are tremendous Napoleon has been criticized by many, McLynn states “He can be viewed as the man who set back European economic life” (174), though some scholars do agree to this fact, most agree to the fact that many countries in his time were afraid of him and rather considered him as tyrant. However despite all this Napoleon contribution to history is tremendous, be it in politics or military.