The abominable slave trade was an acceptable business. Until the world had a moral "wakening".
The institution of slavery has been part of humankind culture for eons. By 1000 BC the Greeks and Romans captured and enslaved German and Africans alike. Later Muslims in the Mediterranean Greek, Slav, German, Russian and African Slaves (1 ). Arabs were involved the African Slave trade eight centuries before the transatlantic slave trade (2 ).
Part of the "moral" justification for enslaving Africans could be the in fifteenth century the Catholic Church said unlike Europeans Africans had no soul (3 ).
Until 1550 the old world (Europe) was the largest importer of slaves (4 ).
Slavery creeps into the "New World"
Northern Europeans weren't the first Slave holders on the American continent. Native Americans held slaves from other tribes, and generally did not enslave them for a lifetime. When Europeans arrived this changed, northern europeans organized large slave raiding campaigns and encouraged Native Americans to gather slaves from other tribes. (5 ).
African "slaves" arrived in Jamestown in 1619, these were indentured after serving their time of indentured servitude. They became land owning members of Jamestown (like many Europeans). Soon this would change, soon lifetime servitude would become a custom, by mid century fewer than 500 slaves could be found in the colony. Then this custom would become law. then in 1672 the American colonies began to import Slaves directly from Africa (6 ).
Dirty deed done at a cost
In 1445 the Portuguese discovered it was easier to by slaves in African than trying to capture them, themselves (7 ).
Slavery existed in most but not all of West African societies before the Atlantic slave trade. People could become slaves by either being conquered or by falling into irredeemable debt (8 ).
Europe's slave trade with West Africa flourished for five centuries (9 ).
The African slave trade was a Joint venture between whites who waited on Ships or in Coastal camps to buy slaves and free Africans working in organized tribal groups who brought the slaves (10 ).
Indeed most European traders never penetrated much beyond the costal regions of African cost due to the threat of disease and the Africa states military power, until late into the nineteenth century (11 ).
Africa's Niger Delta in the sixteen hundreds became the main center of African trade with Europe. It was one of the most important if not the leading slave market in West Africa (12 ).
A major slave port in Europe was in Nantes France. From the 18th century and well in the nineteenth this port launched 1,800 expeditions into the slave trade. They brought back 500,000 men and women. These people were often sent to Haiti mostly but they were also destined to go to elsewhere in the Caribbean and elsewhere. Their new life was brutal often 10 to twenty percent of three hundred or more would die in the passage to America. Once they arrived at there location the trader could get five times the price, for the remaining people (13 ).
Due to harsh conditions About 20 percent of the slaves that part of the transatlantic trade died in transit, other were to weak to be sold and were left on the dock to die. Revolts also happened on slave ships most failed a but a few succeeded, a few made landfall and live with the Native Americans. Yet other ships treated Slaves more humanly they provided nutritious food, rum or wine, allowed singing and dancing, and allowing sexual contact. Slave quarters were regularly cleaned and fumigated. If a crew member sexually assaulted a slave, a brutal punishment would ensue. this was probably inspired by not wanted to lose their cargo (14 ).
Final "body count"
Some estimates place the numbers of deaths of African slaves killed during the trip to America has been place at 50 to 100 million (15 ).