- ISBN 9780500289174
- 21.00 x 17.00 cm
- 145 Illustrations, 90 in colour
- First published 2011
- See more books in theHistory Files Series
‘A very useful book indeed … about as comprehensive as it could be’ – Black & Asian Studies
'Packed with beautiful and interesting illustrations and prints. To my further delight … were the additional facsimile documents included in a pocket of the back cover … a special touch for the reader. When you purchase this book you will not be disappointed, I'm sure it will become a jewel in your collection' – Black Presence.co.uk
History Files – the people, the events,
the ideas that shaped
our past and made our present
The 16th-century Spanish and Portuguese explorers who went to Africa in search of gold discovered an even more lucrative cargo: slaves.
Humans had long been traded in Africa, but the establishment of labour-hungry European plantation colonies in the New World gave these ancient systems new impetus.
A hugely profitable transatlantic trade in human lives soon developed, linking Europe, Africa and the Americas, and fortunes were built. African slaves and their descendants formed the work force that cultivated sugar throughout the Caribbean and Brazil, and tobacco, cotton and rice in the American South.
Although a fervent abolitionist campaign eventually succeeded in changing public opinion and forcing governments to outlaw it, the Atlantic slave trade persisted well into the 19th century, with incalculable human costs.
• Ideal for the general reader and indispensable to all students of the era
• Exclusive to the History Files series, is a loose-leaf set of facsimile documents, which includes plans and logs of slave ships and auction sale notices as well as private letters and emancipation proclamations
• Photographs, paintings, objects and contemporary maps – give further insight into the horrors and global impact of the transatlantic slave trade
• Poignant quotes from first-hand accounts create a vivid sense of immediacy
• Engaging and accessible writing tells the story of this cruel era and its enduring legacy
James Walvin is Professor Emeritus of History at the University of York and a leading authority on slavery and the slave trade. In 2007 he curated an exhibition for the British Houses of Parliament on the abolition of the slave trade. He has written widely on the subject and his recent books include The Trader, the Owner, the Slave: Parallel Lives in the Age of Slavery and A Short History of Slavery.