Test your knowledge of the slave trade in this KS3 History quiz. Did you know that in the Roman Empire about one fifth of the empire's population and a third of the population of Italy was enslaved? Slaves carried out many domestic, manual and administrative jobs. Britain increased its involvement in the slave trade during the eighteenth century. The Treaty of Utrecht gave British sailors the right to sell slaves within the Spanish Empire.
Some slaves were captured by the British sailors. They would land raiding parties who would then ambush passing locals or raid villages. They chained the people together and marched them to the coast where they were then loaded onto their ship. The majority of slave ships obtained their slaves from slave factors. These were British people who lived full-time in Africa. They bought their slaves from local tribes who had raided nearby villages and captured their enemies to sell into slavery.
Slave ships usually carried many more slaves than they had room for, so conditions on board were very poor. Slaves often died on the voyage from disease or were thrown overboard during the voyage, so that the captain could make an insurance claim. The most famous of these was the Zong. The captain threw 133 slaves overboard. By the end of the 1700s, there was an increasing opposition to the slave trade.