The Trans-Atlantic slave trade’s legal institution from a regional economic practice into an international financial market originated from Papal grants initiated during the 16th century. Territories and nation states party to this grant referred to it as the Asiento, as later affirmed by international custom and bilateral treaties. This article will discuss the origins of the Asiento, the legal framework in which the Papacy granted parties’ authority to transfer and other manners in which this contract was conveyed, its effects on Africans and Africans of the Diaspora, and on international conflict, which arose from the coveted slave trade monopoly. As a result, many nations, monarchs, corporations and Western seaboard economies financially benefited from the Trans-Atlantic slave trade through condonation and participation. The author argues that the Asiento evolved into the lawful nucleus which transformed the Trans-Atlantic slave trade into a flourishing international market of human commodities until its legal extermination through international intervention. The article concludes that, as a result of the Papacy’s intimate participation in the origins of the Asiento and as holders of African slaves, it is obliged to provide international restitution to those of the African Diaspora adversely affected by its vestiges.
Tuesday, April 30, 2019
Muhammad on the Papacy and the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade
Patricia M. Muhammad has posted The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade: European Corporations, the Papacy and the Issue of Reparations, which appears in the Willamette Journal of International Law and Dispute Resolution 26 (2018):