The middle passage was the journey of slave trading ships from the west coast of Africa, where the slaves were obtained, across the Atlantic, where they were sold or, in some cases, traded for goods such as molasses, which was used in the making of rum. However, this voyage has come to be remembered for much more than simply the transport and sale of slaves. The Middle Passage was the longest, hardest, most dangerous, and also most horrific part of the journey of the slave ships.
With extremely tightly packed loads of human cargo that stank and carried both infectious disease and death, the ships would travel east to west across the Atlantic on a miserable voyage lasting at least five weeks, and sometimes as long as three months. Although incredibly profitable for both its participants and their investing backers, the terrible Middle Passage has come to represent the ultimate in human misery and suffering. The abominable and inhuman conditions which the Africans were faced with on their voyage clearly display the great evil of the slave trade.
While there was slavery throughout World History, never has it reached such an epic proportion as during the Middle Passage/ transatlantic slave trade. At this time, no one knows exactly how many Africans died at sea during the Middle Passage experience. Estimates for the total number of Africans lost to the slave trade range from 25 to 50 million. The Middle Passage was a term used to describe the triangular route of trade that brought Africans to the Americas and rum and sugar cane to Europe. It was synonymous with pain and suffering. The journey from Africa to the Americas would take as many as 30 to 90 days. Many of the ships were called ‘loose packers’ or ‘tight packers’, describing the capacity of the slave ship.
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To conclude, the smell of rotten bodies thrown overboard lured sharks to the ships route. European countries participating in the slave trade accumulated tremendous wealth and global power from the capturing and selling of Africans into slavery. Originally, slaves were sold to the Portuguese and Spanish colonies in South and Central Americas to work on sugar cane plantations. The middle passage was the worst thing that could happen to African American slaves.