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A slave ship is a type of ocean-going vessel designed specifically for the purpose of slave trading. These vessels were most commonly used during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, during a period known as the Atlantic Slave Trade. They included both smaller, shallow-draft sailing ships and larger, more substantial sailing ships, and they carried African captives to the Americas, the Caribbean and the European colonies in order to be sold as slaves. Slave ships were notoriously cramped and inhumane, with hundreds of captives crammed onto each vessel. These conditions often led to high mortality rates, and slave ships have come to represent the extreme horrors of the transatlantic slave trade.

See also: middle passage, slave trade, white supremacy, colonial order, late-stage capitalism

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