The Nature of Atlantic Trade Between 1650–1800

Atlantic basin and Atlantic world refer to a geographical area which comprises of Western Europe comprising of countries such as Ireland, Italy, Britain, Portugal, Belgium, France, Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany, and Austria, Western Africa from Namibia in the southwest to Mauritania in the northwest and America which included Canada, the United States of America, Caribbean and modern Latin America. The Atlantic trade during 1650 and 1800 was mostly slave trade which involved transporting Africans from Northern and Western parts of Africa to US and Europe to offer labor services (Inikori, 2002). About seven million Africans were kidnapped and transported to western nations to offer their labor services. The captured Africans were traded with other goods such as weapons, precious stones or other trade good. The Atlantic trade during this particular time also involved export of surplus agricultural products cultivated by slaves from American farms to Europe. Some of the involved products included sugar, cotton, coffee, indigo, cocoa, and tobacco. Others included ammunition, guns, copper, cloth, slave beads, gold, lumber, rum, spices, and manufactured goods. Some of these products were traded as raw materials for manufacturing especially in textile industry.  Some of the laws employed to regulate Atlantic trade during this time included the Navigation Acts which restricted route of trade, monopolizing shipment trade to British colonies (Morgan, 2001).

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