Museum of London Docklands

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Museum of London Docklands

Museum of London Docklands
Article Image
Representative Article Image
The Chandos Portrait of William Shakespeare
Artist Attributed to John Taylor
Year c. 1600s
Dimensions 55.2 cm × 43.8 cm ( 21 3⁄4 in ×  17 1⁄4 in)
Location National Portrait Gallery, London


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London Sugar & Slavery


As London was growing as a center for finance and commerce from the 1700s onwards, they unfortunately ran into a popular crime against humanity. With every wanting wealth tribal communities in West Africa were torn apart, tens of millions of people displaced and transported, and many were tortured and killed.
When this trend started, African People had not been new to the area, and they arrived in Britain before the 1500s. By the late 1780s there were about 25,000 people of African Origin were living in London. Most had liberated themselves living free and independently with London's poorer classes, but some where well-to-do members of the society.
The slave trade hurt many African societies and allowed European nations to impose European rule. This was an assault on African identities. Starting in the early 1600s, Londons merchants were importing increasing amounts of gold and ivory form Africa, but little was known about the people who lived there. As Africa became the main source for slaves for the new world of the Americas, ignorance led to racism, which turned into exploitation.
European nations has a well-organized system for supplying plantations with labor. Many African people resisted the trade, but others made money off of it. By the late 1600s the slave trade in London was organized by the Royal Africa Company. In 1750 the Company of Merchants trading to Africa took over. They brought people form the interior and sold them on the coast. The Africans who collaborated in the trade also had workers who painted the forts, and men to carry people and supplies from the shore onto the ship. As the trade became more and more profitable, a new African 'elite status was reached, which contributed to the destructive divisions in the African Society.



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The Thames Tunnel

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