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 NORTH AMERICA
ENGLAND
EUROPE
PORTUGAL SPAIN
Manufactured goods
York Philadelphia
Tobacco, furs, indigo, naval stores
Fish, rice, meat
Norfolk Charlestown
ATLANTIC
New Boston
molasses
Flour, fish, furs, meat
Gulf OCEAN of
Mexico
Cuba
Jamaica Hispaniola
SOUTH AMERICA
AFRICA
1,000 Miles 1,000 Kilometers
THE TRIANGLE TRADE
Sugar,
Rum
WEST INDIES
Gold, enslaved people
“Middle Passage”
The triangle trade was a complex trading network that lasted from the 14th century until the early 19th century. It led to great wealth for some and death and suffering for many Africans.
Millions of men, women, and children made this trip on overcrowded ships between about 1518 and the mid-19th century. The trips took between 21 days and 90 days depending on several variables. Disease, mistreatment by crew members, starvation, severe weather, and suicide were all risks to African captives. Crew members threw the bodies of dead or dying captives off the boat for sharks to eat. Today, historians estimate that 13 percent of Middle Passage captives died on the voyage.
Continued Growth of the Slave Trade Europeans realized that supplying labor to plantations in South America and the West Indies and later in North America could be extremely profitable. The Portuguese and the Spanish brought slaves to the Americas, especially to Brazil and the islands of the West Indies in the early 16th century. The first English slave-trading expedition of 1562 sold slaves to the Spanish West Indies. English slave-trading voyages increased after the establishment of the English colonies in North America. The first enslaved Africans were brought to Virginia in 1619. The slave trade continued to expand throughout the 17th and 18th centuries.
62 EUROPEAN HISTORY: AP® EDITION
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