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The Slave Triangle

60 second histories

This video covers:  William Wilberforce explains how the slave triangle worked

The slave trade was not just a trade in humans there was a lot more to it. Ships would sail south from Liverpool and Bristol loaded with goods that were highly sought after in Africa such as pots, pans, guns and ammunition, then it would call in at ports in France and Portugal to purchase more goods, such as wines and brandy. Now when a ship’s captain reached Africa, he would sell all these goods and then rearrange his ship ready to buy his new cargo; slaves. The ship would be refitted to take as many as four hundred slaves, all lying down in rows, deck after deck. Once the ship was ready the slaves would be bought and loaded, a process that could sometimes take weeks. The ship would then sail across the Atlantic Ocean to the West Indies, this was known as the middle passage. In the West Indies the slaves were sold and the ship was loaded with cargo such as tobacco, sugar and cotton and set sail again for the final leg of the voyage back to England to complete the slave triangle.
British Empire
William Wilberforce
Key words: 
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