History KS3 / KS4: How British slave owners fought for compensation

Historian David Olusoga investigates how British slave owners fought for compensation as the government moved towards abolishing slavery within the Empire in 1832.

He outlines how abolitionists were forced to reluctantly accept that slaves were the legal property of their owners in order to get the legislation through Parliament.

This concession meant that 20 million pounds (around 17 billion pounds today) was set aside to be shared out among 46,000 claimants, awarded by a ten man Slavery Compensation Commission.

The slaves themselves received nothing.

This is from the series: Britain's Forgotten Slave Owners

Teacher Notes

This could supplement a study of the abolition of the British slave trade and the abolition of slavery within the British Empire itself.

It could be linked to the issue of whether Britain should pay reparations for its past involvement in slavery.

It could also be used as an example of how a historian makes use of archival evidence to support their case.

Curriculum Notes

This clip will be relevant for teaching History at KS3, KS4/GCSE, in England and Wales and Northern Ireland

Also at National 4 and National 5 in Scotland.

This topic appears in OCR, Edexcel, AQA, WJEC, CCEA GCSE and SQA.

More from the series: Britain's Forgotten Slave Owners

Why British slave owners opposed Abolition
British slave owners in the 1830s
The Barbados Slave Code
The social and economic impact of slave ownership on British society