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Slavery and Abolition

In the UK there existed three distinct types of slaves; African slaves, Irish slaves and coalier slaves. The African slave trade as we have learnt about from the readings and in class was supported in the UK for about three centuries from 1555-1833. The other two forms of slavery that are much rarer to hear about are the Irish slave trade and the coaliers. The Irish slave trade began in 1625 and came to a peak between 1641 and 1652 when the population of Ireland fell by two thirds. during this period the English were trying to quell Irish rebellion against British rule and were using a law that allowed them to ship prisoners overseas as slaves to sell the Irish as prisoners. The coaliers were mainly Scottish coal miners who under english law were not allowed to leave their place of employment (aka mine), in doing so would be charged with theft against their employer (Act Anent Coalyers and Salters 1606). This was punishable however the mine owner saw fit up to and including sentencing to death. This practice was finally abolished in 1799

Socialism/communism Socialism took root in the UK in the working class but any attempts to unionize and protest was swiftly crushed by the nobility and the military up until 1824. After this unions were allowed to form and they slowly grew in strength until the Liberal-Labor coalition party came into being in 1865. Communism had a relatively low following in England compared to elsewhere in Europe, largly because of the higher degree of democratization that had already taken place in England before the communist movement began. Independence movements

Within the UK a number of constituent states have tried to cede from the UK with varying degrees of success. Most well known, the republic of Ireland ceded from the UK following WWI, Scotland enjoys a large degree of home rule while still being part of the UK.

Civil rights

women granted the vote in 1928 after a decade of suffrage movements that ranged from speeches to women smashing shop windows in protest to mass hunger strikes resulting in the government instituting force feeding of suffragettes.

Sexual revolutions

Victorian values prevailed in England up until the post WWII era when a host of changes rapidly emerged. in 1960 birth control became legal for married women, 1968 it became fully legal. 1967 abortion and male homosexuality is decriminalized. Not until 2001 that lesbian sex and the age of consent for gay men is normalized with that for straight men and women. Environmentalism

Post WWII a growing understanding of the environmental impact of human actions led to a surge in environmentalism. this was aided by a number of environmental disasters including the great London smog of 1952 and the Torrey Canyon oil spill in 1967 leading to the formation of a myriad of environmentalist groups and eventually the Green party of england and wales.