Sam Ashworth-Hayes Sam Ashworth-Hayes

Did slavery really make Britain rich?

Getty images

‘It’s a sad truth that much of our wealth was derived from the slave trade’, said London’s mayor Sadiq Khan. Others agree: for Al Jazeera’s Imran Khan, ‘Britain was built on the backs, and souls, of slaves’. But there is a problem with this analysis; it’s wrong. Just like the story told of an island nation standing alone since 1066, it’s a myth that the monstrous evil of the slave trade made Britain the wealthy country it is today.

Already a subscriber? Log in

Keep reading with a free trial

Subscribe and get your first month of online and app access for free. After that it’s just £1 a week.

There’s no commitment, you can cancel any time.


Unlock more articles



Don't miss out

Join the conversation with other Spectator readers. Subscribe to leave a comment.

Already a subscriber? Log in