An evaluation of the transition from European indentured servants to African slaves on the plantations of mainland America and the British West Indies.

Before the widespread use of slavery in mainland America and the British West Indies, the predominant form of labour was that of white indentured servitude. These were mostly unskilled workers who had emigrated from Britain and Ireland who entered into a contract usually lasting between 2 and 10 years of labouring in the colonies. First […]

Why was the British slave trade abolished in 1807?

On 25th March 1807 the Slavery Abolition Act was passed in Parliament, ending the legal trade in slaves throughout the British Empire. Only fifty years prior to the passing of the act, abolishing the slave trade would have been inconceivable––slavery had been central to the British economy for over 200 years, and had served as […]

‘Conditions analogous to slavery’: Workers in the British West Indies after emancipation

Although the slave trade had been abolished throughout the British Empire in 1807, it would not be until 1833 that the Slavery Abolition Act would be passed, and on the 1st of August the following year slaves in the British West Indies would begin their lives as free men and women. The controversial ‘Apprenticeship’ system […]