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The Slave Trade

The Triangular Trade

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By Lucie and Myriam


(18th British/American)


°What was the Triangular Trade?


            The Triangular Trade was a route to receive slaves.Its name was given to it by the European merchants who exchanged goods for African slaves.

It was called the triangular trade because of its shape that resembled a triangle.

- The first part of the journey from Europe to Africa where the traditional goods were exchanged for the slaves.

- The second leg was the transportation of slaves to the Americas. Its nickname was the « Middle Passage ».

- The transport of goods from the Americas back to Europe was the final part.


This map shows the main commodities that were traded between  Africa, Britain, Caribbean and North America. As well as enslaved people the traders took other products such as gold, ivory and spices.




 In the West Indies the merchants picked up sugar and molasses which is a dark brown syrup product made from sugar cane to make rum. They then carried the rum, along with guns, gunpowder, and tools to West Africa. Here, they traded these items for slaves, they carried the slaves to the West Indies where they were sold. Traders would take the profits and buy more molasses. ../trade_routes.htm


The slaves were treated so harshly that some of them didn't make it to the West Indies but died in the boats. Their bodies would be thrown out to sea! Traders were so greedy that they wanted to bring as many slaves as possible. The slaves were chained and crammed together below the deck causing the creation of fatal diseases . There was hardly any sitting room or standing room. The slaves didn't even have fresh air. The air was so stifling that some suffocated to death. Others tried to starve themselves to death or jump over board. Most died from diseases.



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