Portugal gets the Ball Rolling on the Atlantic Slave Trade...

5fish

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I found this account and it consider the first raid that lead to the Atlantic slave trade... Portugal get the ball rolling...


With Portugal’s expansion into western Africa in the fifteenth century, Iberian merchants began to recognize the economic potential of a large-scale slave trafficking enterprise. One of the first to record this sentiment, according to Portuguese royal chronicler Gomes Eanes de Zurara, was a young ship captain named Antam Gonçalvez, who sailed to West Africa in 1441 hoping to acquire seal skins and oil. After obtaining his cargo, Gonçalvez called a meeting of the twenty-one sailors who accompanied him and unveiled his plan to increase their profits. According to Zurara, Gonçalvez told his crew, “we have already got our cargo, but how fair a thing would it be if we, who have come to this land for a cargo of such petty merchandise, were to meet with good fortune and bring the first captives before the presence of our Prince?” That night, Gonçalvez led a raiding party into Cap Blanc, a narrow peninsula between Western Sahara and Mauritania, and kidnapped two Berbers, one man and one woman. Another Portuguese mariner, Nuno Tristão, and members of his crew soon joined Gonçalvez. Although the raid resulted in less than a dozen captives, Zurara imagines in his account that prince Henry of Portugal responded to this enterprise with, “joy, not so much for the number of captives taken, but for prospect of other [countless] captives that could be taken.

snip...

While Gonçalvez’s voyage in 1441 is widely considered to mark the beginnings of the trans-Atlantic slave trade, it may also be viewed as an extension of an older tradition of raiding and ransom on both shores of the Mediterranean. Upon returning to Portugal, Gonçalvez treated his captives in accordance with this custom, and allowed them to negotiate the terms of their release. Rather than offering a ransom of money, the captives promised to give Gonçalvez ten slaves in exchange for their own freedom and safe passage home. According to royal chronicler Zurara, the Berbers explained that these new captives would be “black [and] not of the lineage of Moors, but Gentiles.” Thus in 1442, Gonçalvez returned his Berber captives to Western Sahara, receiving as payment ten enslaved sub-Saharan Africans, whom he then transported back to Portugal for re-sale.

Snip... Pope Bull...

when Pope Nicolas V issued a series of papal bulls that granted Portugal the right to enslave sub-Saharan Africans. Church leaders argued that slavery served as a natural deterrent and Christianizing influence to “barbarous” behavior among pagans. Using this logic, the Pope issued a mandate to the Portuguese king, Alfonso V, and instructed him:

"to invade, search out, capture, vanquish, and subdue all Saracens and pagans whatsoever …[and] to reduce their persons to perpetual slavery, and to apply and appropriate to himself and his successors the kingdoms, dukedoms, counties, principalities, dominions, possessions, and goods, and to convert them to his and their use and profit . . ."

snip...

As the 1455 bull indicates, at first the Church officially limited African slave trading to Alfonso of Portugal.

snip...

The Papal Bull of 1455 justified the expansion of (black) African slavery within early Iberian colonies, and the acquisition of more African captives and territory, but the same decree also provided a legal framework for sub-Saharan Africans to negotiate with Iberian authorities on equal footing, and to make claims of their own, should they convert to Christianity
 

Jim Klag

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Another county's slave trade is heard from. Just a bit excessive, I think.
 

5fish

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Another county's slave trade is heard from. Just a bit excessive, I think.
Maybe, but this event mention above is or was considered the moment the transatlantic slave trade got its start in history... I thought it something everyone should know... I wanted to throw in the Popes thoughts on the matter...
 

5fish

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Here a good site that estimates the Atlantic slave trade by nation...

 

rittmeister

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Here a good site that estimates the Atlantic slave trade by nation...

where's brandenburg?
link is german and needs to be fished
 
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