Challenge yourself in this KS3 History quiz on racial unrest and civil rights in the USA. In America, early in the seventeenth century, the first slaves were traded. These people, kidnapped from their families in Africa, were sold for profit to wealthy settlers in the 'New World'. They were much cheaper than servants and a very profitable 'cargo' for the slave traders.
Slavery was more widespread in the southern states of America because there were large tobacco plantations and later, cotton plantations. These were very labour intensive (needed a lot of workers) and slaves were the cheapest option.
Many people in the northern states did not agree with slavery and, in 1861, some of the southern states joined together and formed the Confederate States of America.
They split from the United states. One of the key issues was slavery. This split lead to the American Civil war. The northern states won and slavery was abolished. Even when slavery ended, black Americans had fewer rights than most white Americans, so they weren't much better off. White politicians made it hard for slaves to leave the plantations. Blacks and whites were segregated, in other words, there were areas where ex-slaves were not allowed.