Britain and the slave trade : By all means reflect on the past, including Britain's role in the slave trade and the suppression of the Demerara uprising [ '' Two centuries of forgetting'', August 19th].

And it certainly should form part of the history curriculum in schools. But as Tom Holland would say in his studies of history, context is everything. 

To imply that Britain has never come to terms with aspects of the ignominious past is to disregard those moments and period of history where Britain stood alone, not only in condemning and abolishing slavery, but sending out the Royal Navy on the high seas to stop it.

William Gladstone, one of Britain's greatest prime ministers, whose own family profited from slavery in Guyana, branded slavery the '' foulest crime '' in history in 1850.

Gladstone's descendants recently issued an apology for slavery. Since the end of slavery and after Caribbean and African nations became independent, Britain has provided billions of development aid to its former colonies.

British students could learn more about, and take pride in, this history too.

The World Students Society thanks Dale Dore, OSLO.


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