Slaves and slave trade has been an important part of history for a very long time. In the years of the British thirteen colonies in North America, slaves and slave trade was a very important part of its development. It even carried on to almost 200 years of the United States history. The slave trade of the thirteen colonies was an important part of the colonies as well as Europe and Africa. In order to supply the thirteen colonies efficiently through trade, Europe developed the method of triangular trade. It is referred to as triangular trade because it consists of trade with Africa, the thirteen colonies, and England.
These three areas are commonly called the trades “three legs.” The first leg of this trade was merchants from Europe bringing refined goods to Africa to trade for slaves. The merchants traded with chiefs and high authority leaders. The chiefs pretty much could and would trade whomever they pleased, there was no restriction regarding who the slaves were. On the second leg of this trade slaves were transported to the West Indies, this leg was called the middle passage. This part was horrible for the slaves.
About 50% of all the slaves on one ship would not make it to the West Indies because of disease or brutal mistreatment. Hundreds of men, woman and children were cramped together for most of the journey, occasionally able move an almost decent amount. On the third leg of the journey slaves were traded for sugar, molasses and other products. Those products were shipped to Europe or other European colonies in the Americas.
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The slaves in the West Indies were then sold to whomever wanted to buy some. After this whole process the cycle repeated itself over and over, and this system was used for a long time. To supply the thirteen colonies effectively though trade, Europe came up with the idea of triangular trade. Africa, the 13 colonies, and Europe were part of Europe’s invention of triangular trade. In all, this was a very harsh but somewhat successful way of trade.