The “Triangular Trade” was the name given to the trading route used by European merchants who exchanged goods with Africans for slaves, shipped the slaves to the Americas, sold them and brought goods from the Americas back to Europe.
Merchants who traded in this way could get very rich indeed as American goods fetched a high price in Europe.It was called the triangular trade because of the triangular shape that the three legs of the journey made. The first leg was the journey from Europe to Africa where goods were exchanged for slaves. The second, or middle, leg of the journey was the transportation of slaves to the Americas. It was nicknamed the ‘middle passage.The third and final leg of the journey, was the transport of goods from the Americas back to Europe.
According to battlefields.org:
As the 18th century progressed, Mercantilism eventually fell into disuse, especially with the 1776 publication of The Wealth of Nations by Scottish philosopher Adam Smith, the first major work of modern capitalist theory. Smith argued against the high tariffs, government intervention in industries, and other barriers to free trade that defined earlier economic thought, and the rapidly industrializing Europe soon came around to his way of thinking. The slave trade also went into decline in the 19th century, as abolitionism took hold in Britain and France, though obviously, slavery continued in the United States and Brazil. Combined with the collapse of Spain’s Latin American empire, these factors all contributed to the Triangular Trade system falling into irrelevancy. It did not, however, cause the end of colonization, which began again in Asia and Africa itself in the coming decades.
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