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Migration 21: What does the Slave Compensation Commission tell us about the impact of slavery in Britain?

This enquiry focuses on the consequences of the abolition of slavery in Britain, making use of an incredible online resource: the University College London’s database.

This database records the individuals and businesses that benefitted from the £17 billion that the British government paid out to former slave-owners after 1833. S

tudents take on the role of researchers, using the database to find out about real men and women who profited from the abolition of slavery.

Then, they consider the significance of this information: how did the face of British society change as a result of the money from abolition?

The enquiry offers a great opportunity to discuss the moral questions surrounding compensation, as well as underlining the various ways in which the institutions central to British life could only be established with support from this money.

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