Slavery was the trade that during the 18th and 19th centuries provided the West Indies and places like it with males and females to do work on the plantations. The slaves were wanted to make the plantation owners work a lot easier. They were split into three groups known as gangs according to their health and physique. The first gang consisted of the strongest and healthiest and they cleared, holed and planted the ground before crop time and cut the canes, fed the mills and attended to the manufacture of sugar during crop time. Gang two included the young boys and girls and pregnant females. They weeded the canes and did other light work. The third and final gang were the very young children who collected green food for the animals and tended the garden. They were looked after by an old woman. Slavery was abolished in 1833, this was due to a number of reasons Before it was a vital aspect in upholding the entire western economy, the slave trade was already heavily established within Africa itself.
Even Though Britain and the Americans were the most prominent supporters of slavery, it was however the Portuguese who first took advantage of the African Slave Trade; by the end of the 15th century they had exported more than 10,000 slaves to sugar plantations. In 1562 Sir John Hawkins set sail for Africa; carrying valuables and riches that he hoped to trade for slaves. He is believed to be responsible for England’s involvement in the slave trade. Soon the entire British economy would revolve around the exploitation of slaves, making the abolition of slavery out of the question if they wanted to remain wealthy and prosperous. Nevertheless as the slave market continued to increase, people began to question the ethics of the trade itself.
In 1689 John Locke, a well practiced British philosopher preached these memorable words “Slavery is so vile and miserable an estate of man and so directly opposite to the generous temper and the courage of our nation…” As long as slavery had existed there were always outspoken individuals who objected to the practice. As slavery continued to thrive, more and more individuals began to oppose the whole concept of trading in human life. The abolition resistance grew and many court cases regarding the law of ownership were held, this put the High Court into a tricky position. The Current Lord Chief Justice; Lord Mansfield did not want to be responsible for depriving England of more than £700,000 worth of slave property, yet he knew that slavery could not continue as to much abolition support had been uncovered. On June 22, 1772, Mansfield announced to the high court that slavery should be abolished.