Scholars have mapped two triangles composing the triangular trade. The earlier is the red-purple-green linkage, representing the predominant shipping routes during the earlier part of the Colonial era, from about 1600 to 1640. During this time, the New England and Virginia colonies struggled to take root and needed constant resupply of horses, cattle, manufactured goods and coin money (specie) from England. They also needed slaves, which they obtained via the green route.
When the colonies became better established they became more productive, shipping rum (distilled from cane molasses made from sugar shipped northward via the blue route). Later, maize, tobacco and cotton became major exports.
Toward the beginning of the 18th century, as the demand for sugar intensified, slaves began to be shipped directly to Surinam and the Caribbean via the yellow route. Horses began to be shipped in quantity from New England and Virginia to the Caribbean and Surinam beginning in about 1640 and continuing until the abolition of slavery in 1840. THE TRIANGULAR TRADE THE CARIBBEAN