Atlantic slave trade
The Atlantic slave trade was the selling of African slaves by Europeans that happened in and around the Atlantic Ocean. It lasted from the 15th century to the 19th century. Most slaves were shipped from West Africa and brought over to the New World, the Americas.
Some slaves were captured through raids and kidnapping, although most were bought through coastal trading by the Europeans. Most historians today think that between 12 million and 13 million Africans arrived in the New World.
The slave-trade is sometimes called the Maafa by African and African-American scholars, meaning "holocaust" or "great disaster" in Kiswahili. The slaves were one part of a three-part economic cycle—the Triangular Trade and its Middle Passage—which ultimately involved four continents, four centuries and millions of people. The Dahomian army were involved and used to trade people/slaves for weapons to protect themselves.
Christopher Colombus first came to the Americas in 1492 while seeking the West Indies which allowed for the transatlantic slave trade to begin. Slavery is much more ancient than the transatlantic trade. Slaves were used in many ancient societies.