European Middlemen profited the most from the Trans-Atlantic Slave trade. Unless they lost an unusually large amount of their human cargo on their way to the Caribbean, these traders were sure to make a profit. The trinkets, cheap guns, and goods which they sold the Africans were of a much lower value than the human stock they took away. The demand for sugar and tobacco in Europe and the demand for more slaves in the Caribbean secured a return on their investment.
The slave trade was predominantly detrimental to West African societies. Even though large empires such as Dahomey, Asante, and Benin expanded and prospered because of the slave trade, the subsequent abolition of the trade led to the fast downfall of all these states. The huge loss of population suppressed economic, social and political advancement. Since slavers preferred young adult men and women, the technological breakthroughs and societal enrichment they could have produced were non-existent. The breakdown of the traditional social systems weakened the society.
However, the transfer of Africans to the Americas has led to a cultural diversity unseen in world history. Today African Americans play predominant roles in the arts, sports, corporate world and music. Their contribution to and influence on world culture is unparalleled.