There was a combination of factors that contributed to the growth of the transatlantic slave trade. Among others, religious factors and racial attitudes common for European farmers at the time had a significant impact on this growth. The ability to expand overseas and reach Africa led to the development of the slave trade (BBC, n.d.). One of the most influential aspects was the fact that there was a shortage of labor in the colonies, and the first European farmers failed to find alternative labor sources.
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In turn, there were several factors that contributed to the shortage of labor. For example, European farmers initially made attempts to make indigenous populations work on the plantations, but that was problematic because there were not enough of them to meet the demands of the planters. In addition, native peoples showed resistance to the farmers’ attempts to enslave them. Some plantation systems used indentured workers hired from poor white populations, but many of them tended to leave the plantations in an attempt to acquire their own land since so much of it was available at the time. British criminals were another source of labor available to European farmers in the colonies. However, there were not enough of them either because not many criminals were in a condition to perform forced labor.
Thus, the shortage of labor and the inability of European farmers to find alternative sources of it are the major factors that influenced the growth of the transatlantic slave trade. Enslaving African people were considered to be the most profitable way to find people to work on the plantations. Soon after the first enslaved Africans were transported to the colonies, all the other alternative sources of labor became insignificant.
BBC. (n.d.). Reasons for the development of the slave trade. Web.