Docu-Drama series origionally show on BBC 2 takes a fresh look at the slave trade. From the human cost to its modern legacy, it reveals different aspects of Britain's involvement within the worlds first global buisness. The series includes a drama about Henry Lascelles, one of the most successful slave traders of the eighteenth century, titled How To Make A Million From Slavery, and two drama-documentaries, Sugar Dynasty and Breaking The Chains.
The Slavery Business (2005)
Part 1: How to Make A Million From Slavery
Starring: Robert Pugh, Jack Shepherd, John Standing, Ben Crompton, Rupert Frazer Set in London and the Caribbean during the first half of the 18th century, this drama is based on the true story of Henry Lascelles, one of the most successful slave traders and sugar barons of the time, of whom his descendants are now cousins of the Queen. Unlike previous dramas, this film controversially explores the lives of the white men who built this huge trade. London, 1744 and Henry Lascelles is promoting his latest money making venture, a floating slave factory ship that aims to make the storage and sale of slaves even more efficient, and provide enormous financial returns. However, Lascelles ambitions are jeopardised when government inspector Robert Dinwiddie is instructed to investigate him on allegations of fraud. A deadly battle of wills develops, a fight between two determined and ambitious men that takes us from the sugar plantations of Barbados to the coffee houses and taverns of London, culminating in the case coming before the highest court in the land.
Part 2: Sugar Dynasty
A tale of two William Beckfords, heirs to their family's sugar fortune: one was to end up bankrupt, while the other offered an extraordinary eyewitness account of how slavery worked... The Beckford family were Britain’s answer to the Borgias. In little over 100 years they transformed themselves from an ordinary middle class family into the richest and most flamboyant dynasty in Europe. Their money flowed from 22 enormous Jamaican sugar plantations worked by thousands of slaves. Towards the end of the 18th century two cousins became the inheritors of this vast Beckford fortune. William of Fonthill never set foot in Jamaica. He inherited the bulk of the Beckford fortune and he used that money to live a fantasy life. He wrote the first Gothic novel, composed music and was one of Britain’s most celebrated collectors of art and antiquities. But he also became embroiled in the greatest sexual scandal of Georgian England. With the Beckford name ruined he sought to re-enter public life by building the greatest stately home in Britain – Fonthill Abbey. William of Somerly was the less fortune cousin in that he only inherited four sugar plantations and actually had to dirty his hands by going to Jamaica to oversee them in order to secure his fortune. In 1788 he wrote one of the most remarkable books to come out of the British Caribbean. A descriptive account of the island of Jamaica was a guide book on how slaves should be treated and plantations organised. Through this rare document William exposed the surprising reality of life on a sugar plantation, uncovering how sugar production was the world’s first industrial crop and how plantations were built upon a strange mixture of brutality and co-operation. From the perspectives of these two cousins this film reveals how slavery worked from the inside and how the greed and dishonesty that it was founded upon eventually destroyed the Beckfords.
Part 3: Breaking the Chains
In 1807 Britain did something unique: it ended the trade in slaves. No other nation had ever abandoned the slave trade. It took a revolution of the slaves to destroy France’s slave system and a terrible civil war in the USA decided the fate of the slaves of the Southern States, but in Britain alone slavery was ended by millions of ordinary people, black and white, free and enslaved, who decided it simply could no longer be tolerated. And one man, more than any other, was responsible for the end of the slave trade - William Wilberforce. Wilberforce became a national hero for his work bringing the suffering of Africans to the attention of a shocked British public, and fighting in parliament against the powerful pro-slavery lobby. But what is less well known is that the 800,000 Africans who were already enslaved on plantations across the empire were not freed by the Abolition Bill. They remained human property to be beaten, raped, sold and worked as their masters decided. And what’s been forgotten in the official history of slavery is that William Wilberforce, the hero of the abolitionist movement himself, was a leading voice arguing that these slaves should not be freed. This programme tells the untold story of how the slaves of the Caribbean eventually won their freedom and how William Wilberforce slowly changed his mind and became their champion. It’s a tale of blood and fire, of revolution and of faith. It was a battle between greed and morality, fought by the slaves in the sugar cane fields of the Caribbean and by a handful of remarkable heroes. Preachers and humanitarian politicians inspired a whole nation to harness their moral outrage to destroy the world’s most powerful and loathsome industry. This is the lost story of William Wilberforce’s last desperate struggle, and the slow, strange death of British slavery.
AVI File Details:
Name.........: The Slavery Business (2005)
Filesize.......: 500 MB (or 512,308 KB or 524,603,392 bytes) bytes