The term triangular trade describes the three journeys undertaken by commodities and slaves between England, Africa, and the Americas.
These journeys had three parts, involving travel from England to Africa, from Africa to the Americas, and from the Americas back to England. If one were to map these routes roughly on a flat map of the world, they would form roughly the shape of a triangle—hence the name triangular trade.
Slaves were taken from West Africa to the Americas, which formed the first side of the triangle. On the second side of the triangle, materials such as tobacco, sugar, and cotton were transported from the Americas to Europe. On the final side of the triangle, rum, textiles, and a variety of manufactured goods were sent from Europe to Africa.