Triangular Trade, the Middle Passage and Mercantilism

Notes: Mercantilism &
Colonial America
Definition: The system used by England
to control trade in its empire
Using mercantilism, a mother country will become
wealthy if they export more than they import
The main reasons to have colonies were:
To get raw materials from the colonies
To extent military power and influence
To sell products to the colonists
To sell finished goods to the colonists
Triangular Trade
Definition: Trading networks in which goods and
slaves moved among England, the American
colonies, and Africa
Countries export, or send away, goods they don’t need
Countries import, or bring in, goods they don’t have.
Triangular Trade
Ships from Europe brought : iron, cloth, rum,
& guns to Africa.
Africans needed these “European” goods and
traded them for Africans (slaves).
The ship set sail for the Americas, where the
enslaved people were exchanged for sugar,
tobacco, or some other product.
The final leg brought the ship back to Europe.
Middle Passage
The Middle Passage was the
forced transportation of African
people from Africa to the Americas
as part of the Atlantic slave trade.
Sometimes slaves were allowed to
move around, but most ships kept
them shackled, or chained
Slave exports doubled during the
Slave labor was used in the
southern British colonies to grow
crops for export
Life on Slaving Ships
Enslaved people were
fed one small meal a
day with water.
About 25% of slaves died
Navigation Acts
Definition: England’s laws restricting colonial trade
These were laws passed by
Colonies could only trade
with England for certain
Colonial traders had to use
English ships and pay port
taxes when they landed in
English ports
Great Awakening
Definition: A religious movement that
became widespread in the American colonies
in the 1730’s and 1740’s
 All types of people participated
 Various Races, genders,
 People from all of the colonies
met each other, worshipped
together, wrote letters
 At revivals ministers talked
about spiritual equality and
how everyone should seek
forgiveness for their sins or be
 This message got some people
thinking about social and
political equality