Host City Glasgow: signs of slavery and the imperial past are never far away

Originally posted on Host City Glasgow

The “second city of empire” was how this year’s host of the Commonwealth Games used to be well-known. Glasgow’s imperial past is hinted at by names littered throughout the city centre, in geographic pointers such as Virginia Street and Jamaica Street; and tributes to tobacco barons in the likes of Buchanan Street and Ingram Street.

A quarter of the world’s locomotives and a fifth of its ships were built on the banks of the river Clyde in the second half of the 19th century. These were used primarily to transport goods and people around the empire. The route from Glasgow to America was much shorter than the passage from London. As a result, goods such as tobacco, cotton and sugar were all transported and stored by the Clyde. More tobacco was transported through Glasgow than the rest of the United Kingdom combined. This added to the wealth of so-called “tobacco lords”. Beyond street names, the city is still littered…

Read more Host City Glasgow: signs of slavery and the imperial past are never far away.

One thought on “Host City Glasgow: signs of slavery and the imperial past are never far away

  1. This reminded me of London in many ways. I used to live off Jamaica Road, and across the river, Tobacco Dock was a busy place of trade. Any town expanded or established in Victorian times, will have street names of places from around the Empire. Those of us who have read enough will never doubt the importance of Scotland’s role in the economy of that Empire.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

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