In the middle of the fifteenth century, Europe, Africa, and the Americas came together, creating—among other things—a new economy. At the center of that economy was the plantation, an enterprise dedicated to the production of exotic commodities—the most prominent being sugar—for a distant market. Perhaps the most difficult problem these businessmen faced was securing the labor to sustain the vast economic enterprise they were creating.
Ottoman Turks seized Constantinople and denied Christian Europeans access to the Black Sea. As a result, Africans carried across the Sahara began to make up a larger proportion of the slave labor force.