Britain's empire in Africa developed much later than in India or
America. However, Britain had strong links with different parts
of Africa long before the 19th century. It began with the slave
trade in the 1700s. By the later 1800s Britain had taken control
of huge territories in north, central and southern Africa.
Why did the British start by trading in slaves and eventually come
to rule vast areas of African land? Look at the background and the
sources in this case study and see what you can discover about the
motives of the British.