Triangular trade.

970 Words4 Pages
Analyze the role of slavery and Triangular trade in the Colonial mercantile structure and for the primitive accumulation of Capital that allowed the take off of Capitalism?

The slave trade originated in a shortage of labor in the New World. The first slaves used were Native American people, but they were not numerous enough and were being decimated by European cruelty and diseases. It was also impossible to convince enough Europeans to migrate to the colonies, despite attempts to distribute free land. Massive amounts of labor were needed for mining, but especially for the plantations, in the labor-intensive growing, harvesting and processing of sugar, cotton and other tropical crops which could not be grown profitably in Europe. Growing
…show more content…
The slave ship sailed from the home country with a cargo of manufactured goods. These were exchanged at a profit on the coast of Africa for Negroes, who were traded on the plantations, at another profit, in exchange for a cargo of colonial produce to be taken back to the home country. As the volume of trade increased, the triangular trade was supplemented, but never supplanted, by a direct trade between home country and the West Indies, exchanging home manufactures directly for colonial produce.

The triangular trade thereby gave a triple stimulus to British industry. The Africans were purchased with British manufactures; transported to the plantations, they produced sugar, cotton, indigo, molasses and other tropical products, the processing of which created new industries in England; while the maintenance of the Negroes and their owners on the plantations provided another market for British industry.

Thus, we see the close connection between the slave trade and the development of capitalism in Europe. Capitalism represents an increased use of machinery and increased demanded for more raw materials. This led to the colonization of the Americas to secure land (raw materials), and to the slave trade which supplied the needed labor. Merchants accumulated the profits from the sale of slaves and
Get Access