Links between railways and slavery to be explored in new research project

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Links between railways and slavery to be explored in new research project

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Links between railways and slavery to be explored in new research project
Universities and museums across Yorkshire and the North of England will explore the links between the railways and the global slave trade as part of a new research project. Called ‘Slavery and Steam: steam power, railways and colonialism’... The project was developed by academics from the Universities of York, Leeds, and Sheffield, and curators from the National Railway Museum, the Science and Industry Museum in Manchester and Leeds Industrial Museum...

The history and development of the railways has been the subject of considerable research in the past, but according to project lead, Professor Jonathan Finch from the Department of Archaeology at the University of York, there has been little research in this area. Professor Finch said: “The relationship between steam power and global trade is complex. Steam engines replaced wind power on the plantations and waterpower in British cotton mills, steamboats transported raw materials and goods around the globe. “Railways were critical to the expansion of colonial power across Asia and Africa, as well as the opening up of the North American interior. Wealth generated in the colonies was a stimulus to industrialisation, long after the abolition of slavery in the UK and US. This project will examine the economic, social and infrastructural legacy of steam and slavery in the late 19th and 20th centuries”...
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