BLACK SOCIAL HISTORY British Involvement in the Transatlantic Slave Trade
- British slave ship owners - some voyages made 20-50% profit. Large sums of money were made by ship owners who never left England.
- British Slave Traders - who bought and sold enslaved Africans.
- Plantation Owners - who used slave labour to grow their crops. Vast profits could be made by using unpaid workers. Planters often retired to Britain with the profits they made and had grand country houses built for them. Some planters used the money they had made to become MPs. Others invested their profits in new factories and inventions, helping to finance the Industrial Revolution.
- The factory owners in Britain - who had a market for their goods. Textiles from Yorkshire and Lancashire were bought by slave-captains to barter with. One half of the textiles produced in Manchester were exported to Africa and half to the West Indies. In addition, industrial plants were built to refine the imported raw sugar. Glassware was needed to bottle the rum.
- West African leaders involved in the trade - who captured people and sold them as slaves to Europeans.
- The ports - Bristol and Liverpool became major ports through fitting out slave ships and handling the cargoes they brought back. Between 1700 and 1800, Liverpool's population rose from 5000 to 78,000.
- Bankers - banks and finance houses grew rich from the fees and interest they earned from merchants who borrowed money for their long voyages.
- Ordinary people - the Transatlantic Slave Trade provided many jobs for people back in Britain. Many people worked in factories which sold their goods to West Africa. These goods would then be traded for enslaved Africans. Birmingham had over 4000 gun-makers, with 100,000 guns a year going to slave-traders.
- Others worked in factories that had been set up with money made from the Slave Trade. Many trades-people bought a share in a slave ship. Slave labour also made goods, such as sugar, more affordable for people living in Britain.