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The middle passage was when Europe shipped their goods to Africa, and slaves were brought to North and South America, and then traded for raw goods which were transported back to Europe, like a giant triangle.
This was important because it was easy to make an "industry" out of slave trade, quickly and easily, which played a huge role in kicking off the racism and nativism faced later in history. Portugal was the first country to trade slaves in Europe, while Spain was the first to use them.
this where i got the answer