Those who deny freedom to others, 

deserve it not for themselves

–Abraham Lincoln

The transatlantic slave trade transported between 10 to 12 million enslaved Africans across the Atlantic Ocean to the Americas from the 16 to the 19 century. It was the second of the three stages of the so-called triangular trade in which countries traded arms, textiles and wine along with the enslaved people who formed a large part of the workforce in America. By the 1480s, the Portuguese ships were already transporting Africans for use on sugar plantations in the Cape Verde and Madeira islands in the east of the Atlantic. Spanish conquests were successful in enslaving people and taking them to the Caribbean after 1502 but the Portuguese merchants continued to dominate the transatlantic slave trade for a century and a half. They operated from the Congo-Angola area. The Dutch then became the foremost traders of enslaved people during parts of the 1600s and in the following century, the English and French caught up and dominated half of the slave trade.