Britains slave empire didn't just benefit it's port cities.

Discussion in 'Race Relations' started by Esau, Jul 4, 2024.

  1. Esau

    Esau Well-Known Member

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    A new exhibition will explore how Leamington Spa benefited financially from colonialism and the transatlantic slave economy.

    It opens at the Leamington Spa Art Gallery & Museum on Saturday and is on display until 15 September.

    The free exhibition looks at the town's links with West Africa, the Caribbean, and the Americas from the late 18th to the early 20th Century.

    A spokesperson said: "Like places and people all over Britain, Leamington Spa and its inhabitants benefited hugely from the wealth generated by colonialism and the transatlantic slave economy.

    "This money funded much of Leamington's grand Regency architecture, and flowed down through the generations, supporting wealthy residents through the Victorian period and beyond.

    "The legacies persist in the town today, including in the collections of the Art Gallery & Museum."

    The exhibition features the history behind local landmarks including the Royal Pump Rooms and the Regent Hotel, alongside surprising stories like the town’s popularity with Confederates during the American Civil War.

    Objects on display include rarely seen 19th Century West African pieces such as Congolese ivory carvings and a Sierra Leonean balafon, which is a traditional percussion instrument.

    Curator Lily Crowther said: "People are talking more and more about the role of the transatlantic slave trade in the development of Britain’s big trading cities – like London, Liverpool and Bristol – but the histories of empire and colonialism are intertwined with our local history all over the country.

    "This exhibition shows the variety and complexity of relationships with the Atlantic world even in an inland resort town like Leamington."

    The exhibition is accompanied by a book, British Local History and the Black Atlantic.

    Having visited Leamington spa and royal Leamington spa, let me tell you, these country people are wealthy and it turns out that their wealth came from buying slavery.
     
  2. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Donor

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    Of course many parts of Britain benefited from world trade, including the slave trade, in the Seventeenth to Nineteenth centuries, and it enriched many people and created a new upper class in Britain. No one who studies history denies this.

    The real question is whether the benefits of that historical trade still carry over to today, in modern times.

    Let's also remember that Britain banned slavery and the slave trade in 1834, 30 years before the United States banned slavery.
    And slavery was only one part of the overall trade. Probably most of Britain's trade empire did not involve slavery.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2024

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