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History   >   US History – Slavery, 1500-1865

The Transatlantic Slave Trade

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US History – Slavery, 1500-1865

In this course, Professor Tim Lockley (University of Warwick) explores the history of slavery in the United States. We begin in the first module with an exploration of the earliest history of slavery in Africa and the development of the transatlantic slave trade. After that, we turn to the domestic slave trade – i.e. the buying and selling of slaves within the United States – before turning in the third module to the question of the kind of work that enslaved individuals did. In the fourth module, we think about the kind of relationship that enslaved people had with their owners, while in the fifth we think about what enslaved people did in their free time. In the sixth module, we think about enslaved people’s family life, in the seventh their health, and in the eighth their religious life – focusing in particular on why so many enslaved people converted to Christianity. In the ninth module, we think about slave culture – how enslaved people spoke, what they ate, the kinds of stories they told and songs they sang – before turning in the tenth module to consider the ways in which enslaved people resisted slavery. In the eleventh module, we think about why there were so few slave rebellions in the United States, while in the twelfth and final module, we think about how attitudes towards race factored into the workings of slavery in the United States.

The Transatlantic Slave Trade

In this module, we think about the earliest history of slavery in the United States, focusing in particular on: (i) the extent of the slave trade in Africa prior to the arrival of the Europeans; (ii) European involvement in the African slave trade from the mid-15th century onwards; (iii) the discovery of the Americas in the late 15th century and the reasons for the mass importation of African slaves, as opposed to the enslavement of Native Americans; (iv) the development of the triangular trading system between Europe, Africa and the Americas; (v) the level of African involvement in the slave trade; (vi) the destination of enslaved Africans in the Americas – 80% to the Caribbean or Brazil, just 5% to the United States – and the reasons for this imbalance; and (vii) the profound impact of the slave trade on the demography of the United States.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Lockley, T. (2019, October 17). US History – Slavery, 1500-1865 - The Transatlantic Slave Trade [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Lockley, T. "US History – Slavery, 1500-1865 – The Transatlantic Slave Trade." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 17 Oct 2019,


Prof. Tim Lockley

Prof. Tim Lockley

Warwick University