Slave Trade & the Industrial Revolution

900 words 4 pages
The Atlantic slave trade was a key driving force to the industrial revolution in Britain

Britain experienced a huge industrial development from 1750 onwards. This development led to Britain being one of the wealthiest countries in the world. The changes and development happened at the same period of time that the slave trade was at its peak and Britain was one of the countries most heavily involved. Britain also played the biggest role in the trade out of any other European country. Is this merely coincidence or is there a connection between these two? Was the slave trade causing Britain's growth in economy and industrial development? Seeing as the ports, such as the ports in Bristol and Liverpool became wealthy, more jobs were created,
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It was a new way to obtain energy and could be put to work in almost every industry. This invention was financed by the money made from the slave trade.

It has been argued among many historians that the slave trade did not play a significant role in the Industrial revolution but as we study the evidence we are given it becomes clearer that it did in fact play a huge role. In the book by Eric William, Capitalism and Slavery, we understand this by a quote:
"The settlement of the new world by Europeans depended on the enslavement of millions of black people, who accumulated the money that brought about the industrial revolution". This statement proves the argument. It describes to us that the industrial revolution was built on and made possible by the money made because of the slave trade.

British people are also coming to acknowledge that the slave trade did play a vital role in their development. An example of this is in Liverpool, a gallery is set up to commemorate their connection with the slave trade. This also indicates that the slave trade had a significant role in the development in the economy of Liverpool.

If we study the evidence and sources it is transparent enough for us to see what effect the slave trade have on Britain. It not only created huge positive change in the economy but on the development if industries and inventions. It is therefore made clear that it was a key driving force in the industrial


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