- from Underground Railroad
Between 1500 and 1800, the Portuguese, Spanish, British, and Dutch transported almost 10 million enslaved Africans to the New World.
About 500,000 were brought to the British mainland colonies, which became the United States. In the South, colonists needed workers for their plantations (large farms where cotton and other crops were grown). European workers were scarce, and many Native Americans resisted or died from diseases brought by the Europeans. By the late 1600s, planters depended on the forced labor of enslaved Africans. Most of these people were brought over from West Africa by slave traders.