Slave labour on plantations and the rise of the abolitionisme

On 21 February 1744 was a baby boy born in the Eagle family. The family lived in Dronrijp Eisinga. This lies in Friesland. They called the little boy Eise. Eise Eisinga. Eises father was wolkammer and so had to Eise this too.

But Eise lived in the epoch of the enlightenment. This meant that there were in this time many philosophers who found that people could be by as much as possible to gain knowledge. EISE was a very smart boy and also wanted to learn as much as possible. From his father he was not allowed to grammar school. That is why he went in his spare time reading books in the library of the franeker Academy. He had a lot of interest in astronomy and mathematics. At fifteen he wrote his first mathematics book. In 1781 he completed his masterpiece: a real working planetarium. This allows you to see exactly where all the planets in the solar system at that time. Nowadays this is the oldest working planetarium in history.

EISE gives a good example of the changing thinking during the enlightenment. More and more people went in these time with politics. EISE was, for example, patriot. That meant that he fought against the abuse of power by William V.

But there were also people who were abolitionist. The abolutionisme was a movement that fought against the slavery. Netherlands has especially in the epoch of the wigs and revolutions many slaves traded and used on its plantations in South America. The slaves came from Western Europe and were brought by boat to the Dutch colonies. Netherlands had founded a special company for here. The Dutch West India Company. Also known as WIC.

The Dutch West India Company had its head office in Amsterdam. They had hundreds of ships to West Africa, where the slaves were purchased. The slaves were between 15 and 36 years old and had to be strong and healthy. One slave cost about 150 guilders. This had to be paid in part with sugar. About 600 slaves were transported by ship. The ship was between 30 and 36 metres long, so the slaves had very little space. The journey took approximately 62 days. No wonder then, that regular slaves died during this trip. Nowadays the Dutch feel very ashamed for the slave trade. They call the slave trade a black sheet in history.

The slaves were taken to Curaçao or Suriname. Here they were again sold. The WIC got between the 600 and 800 guilders for a slave. Some of the profit they bought sugar, coffee, cocoa and skins. This names them again back to Netherlands to sell.


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