Growing out of trade that had begun between Europeans and African groups on the west coast of Africa, the combination of rising populations in Africa with the decline in population among American Indians and the demand in the New World for labor to exploit resources led to a large-scale adoption of African slavery throughout the Americas. Although it is difficult to estimate the numbers of Africans who became slaves in the New World, it appears to have been in excess of 9 million people. In addition to that, another 20 percent of Africans shipped as slaves died before arrival and another significant number either died in slave-capturing raids in Africa or were sold to other destinations.

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