Triangle Trade: A Multilateral System

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The early years of the American economy were filled with trade routes stretching across the Atlantic in ostensibly all directions. With trade between European countries, the goods and slaves coming into and out of America tended to be part of a multilateral system. This trading system between European countries, Africa, and America became known as the Triangle Trade, as the route was traveled in a triangle formation. Ships left Europe for African markets with manufactured goods which were traded for purchased or often kidnapped Africans. These Africans were transported across the Atlantic and would become slaves. Once they were in America the enslaved people would then be sold or traded by settlers for raw materials. The raw materials from…show more content…
The first leg of this system would start in Great Britain with goods that consist of any or all of beads, cloth, hardware, rum, salt, or weapons. The shipment would go to Africa where the goods would be traded for African people who were sometimes kidnapped. Not only did they trade for slaves but also natural sources such as gold, ivory and feathers. Once in America, the ship would unload the slaves and take on any or all of molasses, rum, sugar, or tobacco and then head to Great Britain which completed the Triangle route and then soon repeating the process all over. The primary need in America was labor work, this was why slaves from Africa were being introduced into America. Before the 16th century, Europeans were not that familiar with slaves trading in the West African Coast but there was African labor used by the Portuguese which were the first to actually use African labor. When slaves began to be transported to America during the triangle trade, it also became known as the Atlantic Slave Trade. The cause of the Atlantic slave trade was mainly shaped by the want for cheap labor as the colonies in America attempted to produce raw goods for Europeans. However, a large amount of labor was needed to create and maintain plantations…show more content…
Although many different foods were brought to each region due to the diverse people traveling there but with those people came their religion. For many of these early European explorers, the Bible was not only reliable, it was also their main reference system and those looking for answers to explain differences in ethnicity, culture, and slavery. At the beginning of the triangle trade or slave trade, African religious beliefs and practices were numerous and varied. Also, to a wide variety of polytheistic religions, a significant percentage of the continent had fallen under Islamic influences. After they were subjected to America, most slaves tried to continue to practice their beliefs and others converted to Christianity. Once they arrived at their new homes after being bought from settlers, the enslaved Africans were subjected to numerous processes to make them more obedient and Christianity created part of this. Ironically, evangelization was one of the justifications for enslaving Africans. Other than this, very little missionary work actually took place during the early years in America, mostly because religion got in the way of a moneymaking venture by taking Africans away from their work. It also taught slaves possible rebellious ideas and made it hard to justify the cruel mistreatment of fellow Christians. Furthermore, historians

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