In the 15th and 16th century, Europeans began arriving along the Atlantic Coast of Africa. They were drawn due to the trade in gold, spices, and other products, including slaves. However, Europeans had no military success against African states as they were able to achieve in the New World. Over the next centuries the Africans were willing and able to sell as many as 11 million people into the Atlantic slave trade. To modern day, much debate on the factors of the slave trade have led historians to re-interpret the Atlantic slave trade in Western Africa. .
Many people to this day view the Europeans as the ones to blame for starting the slave trade and the continuation of it. John Barbot, describes the North and South-Guinea in painting showing European trading vessels and slave ships in the background and various forts. Europe "settled" in Africa by setting up forts and factories to trade for slaves. Then these slaves were put on ships, going to the New World for the Triangular Trade. The Triangular Trade was trading between Europe, the New World, and Africa. Africans traded slaves to Europe which then were sent to the New World, mostly West Indies and Brazil, to work on plantations. Next, raw materials were sent to Europe who manufactured them and sold them off/traded with Africa. The demand for slaves increased more and more. Soon the Middle Passage was established. The Middle Passage was the voyage slaves were forced to take. The ships were packed tightly to fit more slaves. It was horrible because 6 people were attached to each other, if one died, they were dumped overboard to avoid diseases, and these humans were starved for the whole trip which was about 6 days. About 1 to 2 million Africans died due to the Middle Passage. Stanley L. Engerman and Joseph E. Inkori can agree that Europeans using African slaves was not because of history of slavery in Africa. African slavery was different than Europeans because Europeans were more brutal and harsh to these Africans.