The Triangular Trade – EXTRA

Extra material but please read it carefully.

Also called as:


  • Transatlantic Trade;
  • Transatlantic Slave Trade;
  • Triangle Trade

was a three-legged trade route across the Atlantic Ocean from the mid 16th to the mid 19th century.

It was named “triangular” because the shape of the route is much like a triangle.

Leg 1:

  • started in Europe (mostly in Liverpool, England) where cargo ships left the ports carrying textile, horses, firearms (guns) and alcoholic beverages (later other industrial goods).
  • the destination was in West Africa.

Leg 2 (also called Middle passage):

  • from Africa to Central America (the Caribbean region, or to the south, even to Brazil)
  • black people were bought by the tradesmen in Africa, carried to the Americas and sold there as slaves
  • these slaves worked on plantations (cotton, tobacco, sugarcane etc.)

Leg 3:

  • back to Europe
  • the captain of the ship bought luxury products coming from the plantations (cotton, tobacco, coffee, tea, sugar, molasses etc.) and brought them back to Europe
  • the products were sold to rich people (=luxury products as only the wealthy could afford them)

One triangle? No, actually there were different ones – watch the video below.