Retracing the steps of British abolitionists : a digital learning approach to the history of the Atlantic slave trade
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The transatlantic slave trade was the largest forced migration in history. It involved an intercontinental transfer of wealth, goods, and most importantly, millions of people over the course of four centuries. Great Britain was one of the chief participants in the traffic. According to estimates available through Voyages: The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database (2013), Britain alone transported more than 3,259,000 enslaved Africans across the Atlantic between the 16th and 19th centuries. In the late 1700s, at the height of British involvement, the nation accounted for approximately a third of the total international trade. However, in 1787, British abolitionists banded together under leaders such as Thomas Clarkson and William Wilberforce to form the Society for Effecting the Abolition of the Slave Trade, creating an alliance of politicians, religious men and women, former slaves, and reformed slave traders, to challenge one of the most widespread, economically rooted institutions of the age.
Artifacts ; issue 15 (2017)