What Is the Biggest Crime in American History?

The United States of America has a rich history, but with that history comes some dark moments. Throughout the years, the country has seen many crimes that have shocked and horrified the nation.

However, one crime stands out as the biggest crime in American history. This is a crime that affected millions of people and had repercussions that are still being felt today.

The Transatlantic Slave Trade

The biggest crime in American history is undoubtedly the Transatlantic Slave Trade. This was a period between the 16th and 19th century when millions of Africans were forcibly taken from their homes and transported across the Atlantic to work as slaves in the Americas. It is estimated that over 12 million Africans were taken from their homes during this time.

The Journey

The journey across the Atlantic was brutal and inhumane. The enslaved Africans were packed into ships like sardines and were often chained up for weeks on end. They were given little food and water, and many died from sickness or starvation before they even reached their destination.

Upon arrival, they were sold at auctions like cattle to work on plantations or mines. They were treated as property rather than human beings and were subjected to extreme brutality at the hands of their masters.

  • Slave Life: Slaves lived in constant fear of being punished by their masters for any perceived wrongdoing. Punishments included whipping, branding, amputation, castration, and even death.
  • Families Separated: Families were often torn apart as children would be sold off to different plantations or mines.
  • No Education: Slaves were denied education which meant they could not read or write.
  • No Rights: Slaves had no legal rights whatsoever.

The Legacy

The Transatlantic Slave Trade had a profound impact on American society and the world as a whole. The legacy of this crime can still be felt today in the form of institutionalized racism, economic inequality, and social injustice.

The effects of slavery on African Americans have been devastating and long-lasting. Even after slavery was abolished, African Americans were subjected to Jim Crow laws that continued to oppress them. They were denied voting rights, education, and job opportunities.

The Civil Rights Movement brought about significant changes in American society, but the effects of slavery are still felt today. African Americans are more likely to live in poverty, suffer from health disparities, and be incarcerated at higher rates than their white counterparts.


The Transatlantic Slave Trade is the biggest crime in American history because it affected millions of people and had a lasting impact on society. The legacy of this crime can still be felt today through institutionalized racism, economic inequality, and social injustice. It is important to acknowledge this dark period in American history so that we can work towards a better future where all people are treated with dignity and respect.