How did money from slavery help develop Greater Manchester?
The port cities of Liverpool, London and Bristol are most often linked with the transatlantic slave trade. However, direct and indirect profits from slavery fuelled the Industrial Revolution in Greater Manchester.
Why was cotton so important in north west England?
Of all the goods associated with the transatlantic slave trade, cotton was the most important in the Greater Manchester region. The north west had a long history of textile production from the 1400s, based mainly on wool and linen.
The American Civil War and the Lancashire cotton famine
The American Civil War impacted on the livelihood of thousands of textile workers in the north west of England through their connections with the supply of slave-grown cotton.
Smoking, drinking and the British sweet tooth
The goods that could be grown in the tropical regions of the Caribbean and the Americas as a result of the transatlantic slave trade became extremely popular in Britain. Sugar and tobacco were two products that quickly became an essential part of the British lifestyle.
What evidence is there of a black presence in Britain and north west England?
Millions of African men, women and children were forcibly taken from Africa by Europeans to the Americas, and a few came to Britain, some willingly and others by force. It is thought that there were 10,000 black people in Britain in the late 1700s.
Who resisted and campaigned for abolition?
- William Wilberforce and abolition
- Model of a freed slave
- An audio extract from a speech by John Bright
The British campaign to bring about the abolition of slavery began with the Quakers in the 1760s when they first banned slave trading among their followers. It started to pick up momentum in the following decades as the issue became more widely debated and understood.
Legacies: Commemorating the bicentenary of British abolition
- From slave coast to oil rivers
- Revealing Histories trail and exhibition at the Manchester Museum
- Ovonramwen, Oba of Benin
2007 was the bicentenary of the British abolition of the transatlantic slave trade. Although 1807 did not end slavery, it provided a focus for activities and events, especially across cultural institutions, to commemorate the bicentenary of British abolition.
Africa, the arrival of Europeans and the transatlantic slave trade
Africa has a long history of trading with Europe, including a very important commercial trade in textiles which expanded during the transatlantic slave trade. However, profits were made at the expense of people.
Colonialism and the expansion of empires
- History of the Benin bronzes, Plate 8: The Auction
- Ovonramwen, Oba of Benin
- Golden Jubilee commemorative plate
The transatlantic slave trade was only one part of a process of wider European global colonisation. Before establishing a foothold in the Americas, European powers including the Portuguese, Dutch and the British had been actively trading throughout Asia. There were important trade routes especially for silk and spices across India, Indonesia and into China.
Legacies: stereotypes, racism and the civil rights movement
Slavery gave rise to increasingly entrenched racist perspectives. While it is unlikely that racism caused slavery itself, undoubtedly the growth of racism grew from the time of the transatlantic slave trade.