The Royal African Company and the British Slave Trade

TLDR The Royal African Company played a major role in the British slave trade, transporting around 150,000 enslaved people from West Africa to the Caribbean. The end of their monopoly led to an increase in independent traders and a significant rise in plantation slavery and human trafficking.

Timestamped Summary

00:00 The Royal African Company was founded in 1672 with the initial goal of finding gold, but quickly turned to human trafficking and was responsible for transporting around 150,000 enslaved people from West Africa to the Caribbean.
04:48 The Royal African Company and the East India Company were both instrumental in propelling the British economy to the forefront of Europe by the end of the 18th century, with the former dominating the human trafficking market from West Africa to the Caribbean and the latter becoming a major opium operator in the East.
09:10 The Royal African Company, run as an inefficient royal monopoly by a group of aristocrats, was accused of not supplying enough slaves to meet the demand of plantation owners, who preferred to continually open up new land using slave labor rather than maintain existing land.
13:33 The triangular trade involved taking goods from Britain to the West African coast to barter for slaves, who were then transported to the Caribbean and exchanged for products of the plantations, such as sugar and cotton, which were then shipped to Britain for processing.
18:24 The Royal African Company's share price was central to the mechanics of English industry and financed the expansion of Britain, despite the company's involvement in the human rights scandal of the slave trade. The company enforced its monopoly through Admiralty Courts and the Royal Navy, but their mistreatment of rival slavers and Englishmen led to their downfall.
22:40 The Royal African Company's monopoly over the slave trade becomes a point of contention in Parliament, leading to the end of their monopoly and the push for more free trade under the reign of William and Mary during the Glorious Revolution.
27:00 The end of the Royal African Company's monopoly on the slave trade leads to a significant increase in the volume of trade, with the company's share falling from 88% to 8% within three years, allowing for independent traders, particularly from Bristol, to become involved and resulting in a massive increase in plantation slavery and human trafficking.
31:26 The slave trade in England leads to a boost in industries such as shipbuilding and the wool industry, as well as the rise of new industries like making chains and manacles; Liverpool becomes the greatest slave port in the old world, while Manchester becomes the center for processing cotton from the Caribbean.
35:46 The introduction of guns and weaponry by the British in West Africa as part of the slave trade leads to increased intertribal conflict and destabilization in the region.
40:23 The British developed a hierarchy of race with themselves at the top and blacks at the bottom, and engaged in the brutalization and seasoning of slaves, while there was little public outcry against slavery until the 1750s and the church supported the trade.
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The Royal African Company and the British Slave Trade

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