This KS3 History quiz looks at the abolition of slavery in the USA. Early in the seventeenth century, a Dutch ship arrived in the British colony of Jamestown, Virginia. On board was a 'cargo' of about twenty Africans. These people had been kidnapped and were sold to wealthy Europeans as slaves. They were the very first of an estimated seven million Africans who were forced into slavery in the New World during the next one hundred and fifty years. They were a cheaper and more plentiful source of labour than servants brought over from Europe.
Slavery was not as widespread in the northern states of America and by the start of the nineteenth century they had abolished slavery. In Britain, the textile industry was becoming more mechanised and required an increased supply of cotton. The southern states of America had perfect conditions for growing cotton, so many plantations changed from tobacco production to cotton production. The cotton plantations required a lot of labour so slavery remained firmly in place. In the mid-nineteenth century conflict grew between the northern and southern states over the issue of slavery, leading to a long and bitter civil war.