Dutch slave trade essay

Even today, this has not yet been properly acknowledged in the Netherlands.

Dutch slave trade essay

In just over pages of text the author not only covers the main features of the Dutch slave trade, but also provides a succinct discussion of Dutch slave trade essay impact of the trade as a whole, and even finds space to enter into the contentious arena of moral judgements and imputed guilt.

Indeed, besides being a triumph of concision, the book is also characterized by its pervasive moral tone. It is remarkable how much interesting material and controversial argument he has managed to pack into such a limited space. The translation by Chris Emery from the original Dutch text is clear and reads well.

Emmer estimates that despite their general economic strength, in the seventeenth century at least, the Dutch had only a relatively insignificant share in the Atlantic slave trade—never averaging much more than 5—6 per cent of the total.

However, he argues that they did have a significant role in the development of the trade in the first half of the seventeenth century, not only through supplying their short-lived Brazilian colony with slaves, but, perhaps more importantly by stimulating the cultivation of sugar—with the consequent urgent need for slaves—in the French and English Caribbean.

Then they turned to Spanish America, transporting aroundslaves to this region by Nevertheless, the Dutch share of the trade as a whole remained relatively small.

Dutch slave trade essay

In a way the problem is not so much why the Dutch role in the Atlantic slave trade was so limited, but rather why they bothered with it at all, as the surviving evidence suggests that, as far as the Dutch were concerned, the economic returns of the slave trade were notably poor.

Certainly, the second West India Company after failed to make the trade pay, despite enjoying a monopoly until Admittedly there were a range of other problems dragging the WIC down, but opening the trade up does not seem to have led to a significant improvement in profitability.

Indeed, this may be the reason why the economically ailing province of Zeeland played such a prominent part in this trade—merchants there had fewer alternative options, and there was always the hope of profit. In his introductory chapter, Emmer sketches the background to the Dutch entry into the slave trade, showing how initial hostility faded with the economic opportunities opening up to the first West India Company after its foundation in Opposition to the slave trade seems to have been little more than a minor part of the more general condemnation of Spanish cruelty embodied in the Black Legend rather than having strong moral or religious roots in contemporary Dutch culture.

When the conquest of part of Brazil opened up new economic opportunities such moral scruples rapidly faded. In a similar way, sympathy for the sufferings of Native Americans at the hands of the Spanish did not long survive Dutch contact with real, rather than idealized, Indians in New Netherland.

Emmer suggests that there was a species of racism involved here; subjecting Europeans to slavery was unthinkable but Africans were a different matter.

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There is, however, another way of understanding the situation. Slavery and the slave trade existed in Africa, and the Dutch were prepared to take part in it, just as they involved themselves in existing trade and trade systems throughout the world in the seventeenth century, without giving too much thought to the moral implications of what they were doing.

To this extent racism did not create the slave trade, but it did give Europeans a ready excuse for taking part in it. The main sections of the book cover the way in which the Dutch collected their slaves in Africa, the crossing to America, and the destination of the slaves.

This could be a slow business. In the eighteenth century it took about five to seven months cruising off the coast of Africa before a full cargo could be obtained, and although traders had their preferences they usually had to take what they could get.

With regard to the conditions on the ships during the crossing of the Atlantic, Emmer stresses that high rates of mortality were not a consequence of deliberate inhumanity, but rather of disease, ignorance, and overcrowding. There was no profit in dead slaves, but disease came aboard with the slaves and flourished in the cramped conditions in which the slaves were forced to live.

A major problem seems to have been the lack of sufficient drinking water—in the hot conditions of the slave-holds the slaves suffered severe dehydration as far less water was available than they needed.

It was not cruelty that kept rates of mortality aboard the slave ships high but a combination of ignorance of its causes together with an inability to treat tropical—indeed any—diseases effectively.

However, the Dutch did lag behind when the English, in the late-eighteenth century, began to improve conditions on their slave ships by better ventilation of the slave holds.

If there was inhumanity involved, it was of a much more general nature and not especially directed at slaves. The rates of mortality among the crews of slave ships were also high, as they were for the crews of the Dutch East India Company ships on the long voyage to Java.

The slaves were mostly taken to the West Indies or Surinam and Emmer gives a brief account of their treatment on arrival and the conditions of life on the plantations where most of them were sent.

One problem he considers is the relative reproductive failure of slaves in the Dutch West Indies and Surinam, which meant that a constant supply of slaves was required to satisfy the needs of the plantation economy.

The chief reason for this seems to have been a constant high mortality rate caused by the continual importation of West African diseases along with the slaves. Emmer points out that mortality among Europeans in the West Indies was even higher than that of the slaves. The effects of this unhealthy environment were compounded by the low ratio of female to male slaves, so the birth rate was never able to exceed the death rate.

In contrast, in the southern United States mortality was lower and the slave population was able to reproduce itself, which in itself produced a demographically healthier male-female ratio.

In assessing the effects of the slave trade on Africa, Emmer sides with those who tend to minimize its impact, at least economically.Dutch Slave Trade During the 17th and 18th centuries, mercantilism was the emerging economic policy through which the slave trade developed in Europe. In the Netherlands many historical events gave rise to a desire for domination of international trade.

Dutch Slave Trade Essay Words | 7 Pages. Dutch Slave Trade During the 17th and 18th centuries, mercantilism was the emerging economic policy through which the slave trade developed in Europe.

In the Netherlands many historical events gave rise to a desire for domination of international trade. The Atlantic essay writing companies in the uk slave trade or transatlantic slave trade involved the transportation by slave traders of enslaved African people, mainly to the Americas The Arab slave trade for most of it’s history was a trickle trade, which boomed in the 19th century.

Free Essay: Oloudah Equiano's The Slave Trade Olaudah Equiano was born in in an area of Africa which is now Nigeria.

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At the age of eleven he was. - Dutch Slave Trade During the 17th and 18th centuries, mercantilism was the emerging economic policy through which the slave trade developed in Europe.

In the Netherlands many historical events gave rise to a desire for domination of international trade. Dutch Slave Trade During the 17th and 18th centuries, mercantile system was the emerging economic policy through which the slave trade developed in Europe.

In the Netherlands many historical events gave rise to a desire for domination of international trade.

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