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Word Count: 1,244
Slavery played an important role in the development of the American colonies It was introduced to the colonies in 1619 and spanned until the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 The trading of slaves in America in the seventeenth century was a large industry Slaves were captured from their homes in Africa shipped to America under extremely poor conditions and then sold to the highest bidder put to work and forced to live with the new conditions of America There was no mercy for the slaves and their families as they were captured from their homes and forced onto slave ships Most of the Africans who were captured lived in small villages in West Africa A typical village takeover would occur early in the morning An enemy tribe would raid the village and then burn the huts to the ground Most of the people who were taken by surprise were killed or captured few escaped The captured Africans were now on their way to the slave ships Bound together two by two with heavy wooden yokes fastened around their necks a long line of black men and women plodded down a well-worn path through the dense forest Most of the men were burdened with huge elephants tusks Others and many of the women too bore baskets or bales of food Little boys and girls trudged along beside their parents eyes wide in fear and wonder McCague 14 After they were marched often hundreds of miles it was time for them to be shipped off to sea so that they could be sold as cheap labor to help harvest the new world But before they were shipped off they had to pass through a slave-trading station The slave trade which was first controlled by Portugal was now controlled by other European nations In the late 1600s Spain Holland England France and Denmark were all sending ships to West Africa The slave
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