Triangular Trade: Mercantilism



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The Triangular Trade was a three-way exchange for goods between Europe, Africa, and the new colonies in North America.

Great Britain would export manufactured goods, clothes, and furniture to the colonies, while the colonies would export tobacco, sugar and other crops to Europe and guns and rum to Africa in exchange for enslaved Africans.

At the top of the social structure were wealthy merchants that controlled the city’s trade. Mercantilism is a theory about the world’s economy. Europe wanted to sell more goods to other countries than what they bought from those countries. It caused more gold, silver and profit to flow into the European mother country than leaving the country to pay for products from the other colonies. Mercantilists believed that if you own gold or silver, you become wealthy and that a country should have and make their own raw materials through colonization.  It gave the colonies benefits by having a reliable market for raw materials and manufactured goods but it prevented them from selling goods to others even if they sold it for a better price.

Economically, the Triangular Trade helped Europe in becoming wealthy. It also gave the new colonies in advantage for new people settling in the colonies because their main reasons for settling was for business and religion.

I want to know how the conditions on the ships going back and forth were. Today in the world, countries still buy goods and trade with other countries but the economy is run by individual owners making profit.


US History Textbook (pg. 38-40)