Slavery (The Life of a Slave, Abolition and Martin Luther King)

  • Created by: Livy
  • Created on: 26-05-13 10:49


The Slave Trade and Life of a Slave

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By the end of the 16th century Britain had established plantations growing sugar and cotton in the West Indies and in the southern states of America. Working these plantations was physical and hard work and had to be done in very warm temperatures. It was difficult to get Europeans to go and work in the plantations. By the 1650's British merchants found a source of workers from the coast of West Africa. These people could be exchanged for goods produced by Britain's growing industry (such as guns, pots, pans and cloth.) These West African people (including children) were taken as slaves to the West Indies and America where they would be sold to plantation owners. The slave ships would then take the suger, cotton and rum back to British ports(such as Whitehaven. Slavery was abolished by the British Empire in 1835. 

Life of a Slave

Martin Luther King

Martin was an American clergyman, Nobel Peace Prize winner and one of the principal leaders of the United States civil rights movement.

Martin Luther King was born on 15 January 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia. His father was a Baptist minister, his mother a schoolteacher. Originally named Michael, he was later renamed Martin. He entered Morehouse College in 1944 and then went to Crozer Religious Seminary to undertake postgraduate study, receiving his doctorate in 1955.

Returning to the South to become pastor of a Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama, King first achieved national renown when he helped mobilise the black boycott of the Montgomery bus system in 1955. This was organised after Rosa Parks, a black woman, refused to give up her seat on the bus to a white man - in the segregated south, black people could only sit at the back of the bus. The 382-day boycott led the bus company to change its regulations, and the supreme court declared such segregation unconstitutional.

In 1957, King was active in the organisation of the Southern Leadership Christian Conference (SCLC), formed to co-ordinate protests against discrimination. He advocated non-violent direct action based on the methods of Gandhi, who led protests against British rule in India culminating in India's independence in 1947.

In 1963, King led mass protests against discriminatory practices in Birmingham, Alabama where the white population were violently resisting desegregation.


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