26.03.

1713: The Lucrative Benefits of the Black Slave Trade

1713: The Lucrative Benefits of the Black Slave Trade
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons

Story Highlights

  • Historical event:
  • 26 March 1713
  • Black slaves were transported in ships from Africa in inhumane conditions. Some described them as being stacked "like sardines in a can".

On this day the Spanish king awarded the British with the most lucrative and the most shameful privilege in history.

Namely, they were given the right to supply the Spanish colonies in America with black slaves from Africa.

It was certainly a lucrative business, because slaves were necessary in America for hard work on the plantations. Black slaves were transported in ships from Africa in inhumane conditions. Some described them as being stacked “like sardines in a can”.

The Asiento contract from 1713
The Asiento contract from 1713

The mentioned right to trade slaves is usually called “Asiento”, which in Spanish signifies an agreement or contract in the commercial sense.

Slaves were mostly put aboard ships at the shores of West and Central Africa, from Senegal to Angola. The British were assigned with a quota of 4,800 slaves for sale annually.

It is interesting that, in the UK, the slave trade was taken over by the so-called South Sea Company, which was a joint stock company.

A famous scandal called the South Sea bubble occurred in that company, when the stock firstly rose greatly in value, but then collapsed, leaving many shareholders impoverished.

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