Bitter Sweet History - aspects of the British Slave Trade

Teachers' notes

In 1807 the British slave trade was made illegal. Over 200 years later we recognise just how important the slave trade was to Britain. We celebrate the work of the men and women, black and white, who brought about its end, and also remember the millions of men, women and children who perished under the trade. Slavery did not end in 1807. It is still with us, in different forms, today. Will we be as determined as those who campaigned over 200 years ago to see it end for good?


This resource has been designed to support the teaching of History and Citizenship at Key Stages 3 and 4. It focusses on the goods which were related to the movement of slaves and their work on the plantations.  The resource also supports the teaching of the issues around Fair Trade and the many forms of slavery which still exist today.

Curriculum Links:


KS3 History

Unit 15 – Black peoples of America from slavery to equality?

KS3 Citizenship

Unit04 – Britain a diverse society?

KS4 Citizenship

Unit01 - Human Rights

Unit03 – Challenging racism and discrimination

Unit 09 - Consumer Rights and Responsibilities

KS4 GCSE History – Local History Study, ‘History Around Us’

All of the images within this resource can be printed off for use in the classroom.



This resource has been developed by York Castle Museum in partnership with the Centre for Global Education, York.  We are also grateful for the support of the York History Network Learning Group and the Young Consultants from Canon Lee School, York.

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