When Did the Triangular Trade Start?

By Staff WriterLast Updated Mar 26, 2020 12:00:45 PM ET

Triangular trade started in the mid-15th century. Trading took place between America, Europe and Africa. It was also referred to as the Trans-Atlantic trade, as the route used to conduct this trade was on the Atlantic Ocean.

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Trading began when Portuguese interests were elevated from the mineral deposits found in Africa to a more readily available commodity: slaves. Trading of slaves further increased after the discovery of the New World. The cotton, tobacco and sugar plantations in the Americas had urgent needs for a large workforce. Slave ships that were used for transportation and trading purposes were known as slavers.