The Slave Trade

Years after slavery had ended in most of Europe, it returned in a different form. Not slavery itself, but the slave trade. The slave trade was a money-making business that traded in human lives.

It began soon after England, Spain, and other European countries established colonies in the New World. In many of these colonies, businessmen began plantations where they planned to grow crops such as sugar cane, coffee, cotton, and tobacco. These plantations required many workers.

Plantations in North America, South America, Central America, and many islands in the Caribbean all needed workers. At first, the owners tried to find native residents to work on the plantations. When this didn't fill all of their labor needs, they began to look elsewhere.

Soon, they began to look to Africa. Africa seemed far away from Europe and the Americas. African people were not well known to Europeans or Americans, and somehow it didn't seem as bad taking Africans for slaves. These African workers could do the work on the plantations, and everyone involved tried not to think about the harm that was being done to the workers themselves and their families.

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