An in­con­ve­nient truth

BBC History Magazine - - Letters -

I would like to add to the es­say How War Sparked the In­dus­trial Rev­o­lu­tion (Septem­ber) the fact that an es­ti­mated 100,000 guns a year were sold to slave traders! In my book Af­ter Abo­li­tion, I noted that “the numbers of guns ex­ported reached 35,167 in 1825. From 1827 un­til 1850 the com­bined value of guns and gun­pow­der ex­ported [to Africa] never dropped be­low £74,000 a year, and reached £136,383 in 1849.”

As the book also ex­plained: “In 1860 it was es­ti­mated that over 100,000 guns

‘made from iron un­fit to make firearms and hor­ri­bly dan­ger­ous’ had been shipped to Africa.”

Mean­while, most of the cot­ton that made Manch­ester and Lan­cashire rich was slave-grown, and once made into cloth was traded for slaves in west Africa and sold to the slave states of Brazil and Cuba. So the in­dus­trial rev­o­lu­tion was partly fi­nanced by the trade in en­slaved Africans. Marika Sherwood, Kent

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.