jan 1, 1420 - 1420: Portuguese start colonizing Madeira
Madeira is an island off the Portuguese coast that had an excellent climate for growing sugar, for which there was a great demand at the time. The island had been discovered by Europeans 2 years earlier. The sugar farms on Madeira established practices that were later used on plantations in the New World.
Added to timeline:
Timeline: Role of the colonial powers in the establishment and expansion of slavery; asiento system