African Slave Trade
*Upon rereading I noticed I focused on the US's involvement, while in reality rival tribes and kingdoms took many slaves, Europeans and South Americans took them as well. Africa was screwed over in the sense that they were behind in technology so people just took them without second thought because they saw them as lesser humans.* In the early stages of the slave trade, people used slaves mostly for personal use, like servants or laborers at smaller business because slaves were expensive. However as time went on and ships got bigger and transportation got cheaper, more and more slaves were brought over from Africa to the US for commercial use as well as personal use. The height of the slave trade came as the growth of the US took off, with plantations being built in the South and the realization that having a personal slave was a useful tool for life in this new and consuming world. Additionally more money from the plantations allowed for more/bigger ships to take people from their homes and ship them into a life of slavery. It came to an end right around the time the civil war started, because with the South becoming the Confederacy they needed a navy to defend from the superior armaments of the North which allowed for less slaves to be traded.
British and Africa
The English involvement with the slave trade is simple yet very impact full, they began with less ships shipping fewer number of slaves to Spanish/Portuguese settlers in Latin and South America. The true height of their slavery began when they started to colonize the Caribbean, they needed people to help make a new life on these islands so they went to Africa and picked up more laborers, although it was forced labor... With the sugar cane plantations springing up in the islands the demand for slaves increased and the British parliament didn't hesitate to comply.
In total, it is estimated that roughly 12,500,000 people were taken from their homes in Africa to be slaves for others, with the number of trips made for this endeavor being somewhere in the millions as well.