How Britain abolished the slave trade – and then reestablished it

“Indentured servitude” a label for forced labor

A million plus subjects coerced into slavery

The abolition of the African slave trade put Britain in a dilemma: Its economic engine still depended on slavery to run.

So it looked to India, the Empire’s jewel in the crown, which had millions of unemployed laborers who could not read or write.

Signed up by a thumb print, hundreds of thousands were shipped off to sugar plantations world-wide never to return. They knew nothing of what lay in store for them.

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