In The Rise and Fall of the Plantation Complex, Philip D. Curtin describes the geographic spread and extent of the slave plantation:
“With the passage of time, the heart of the complex moved westward by way of the Atlantic islands, Brazil, and the Caribbean. It ultimately stretched from Rio Grande do Sul in southern Brazil to the Mason-Dixon line, and it had outliers, even at its eighteenth century prime, on the Indian Ocean islands of Réunion and Mauritius. Later on it spread even more widely to Peru, Hawaii, Queensland, Fiji, Zanzibar, and Natal – among other places – but this worldwide dispersion during the nineteenth century took place just as the complex began to be dismantled – first, with the ending of the slave trade from Africa, then with the widespread emancipation of slaves throughout the tropical world under European control.”
As I understand the growth of the plantation complex, the core areas in the New World were Brazil, the Guianas, the Caribbean, and the American South. While there were slaves in Mexico, Peru, Bolivia, and Colombia, these slaves worked in the gold and silver mines, not on plantations.
The “Golden Circle” was more of a grand vision of Southern imperialism than a reality: Mexico, Central America, and Colombia weren’t part of the plantation complex. There were some cacao plantations in Venezuela but nothing on the scale of Cuba which was part of the plantation complex. Brazil and the Guianas were definitely part of the plantation complex.
The Dutch ABC islands (Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao) were too arid for the plantation system. Dutch St. Eustatius was another exception. Saba and Barbuda had a few slaves, but I wouldn’t include these islands in the plantation complex, or Anguilla or St. Barthélemy or the Cayman Islands or the Turks & Caicos islands. The Dominican Republic was definitely not part of the plantation complex until the rise of the “American Sugar Kingdom” in the early twentieth century.
In the Caribbean, I would include Saint-Domingue, Jamaica, Cuba and Puerto Rico, the Danish Virgin Islands the British Virgin Islands, the Leeward Islands (St. Kitts, Nevis, Montserrat, and Antigua), Barbados, Martinique and Guadeloupe, the Windward Islands (St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Dominica, Grenada, Tobago) and Trinidad.
I’m honestly not sure about the Bahamas because it hasn’t come up much in my research. Finally, there were large parts of the South, especially Appalachia, that were never part of the plantation complex, and when slavery was destroyed in the South there was still plenty of land available that hadn’t yet but would have eventually been developed by slave plantations.
This was true of a lot of areas like Trinidad, British Guiana, and huge sections of Brazil where the abolition of the slave trade and later the abolition of slavery itself prevented the development of the plantation system to its full potential.