The Middle Passage
was the stage of the triangular trade
in which millions of Africans
were shipped to the New World
as part of the Atlantic slave trade
. Ships departed Europe
for African markets with manufactured goods, which were traded for purchased or kidnapped Africans, who were transported across the Atlantic as slaves; the slaves were then sold or traded for raw materials, which would be transported back to Europe to complete the voyage. Voyages on the Middle Passage were large financial undertakings, generally organized by companies or groups of investors rather than individuals.