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The Abolishment of the Slave Trade Essay

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Introduction

´╗┐In the 18th and early 19th centuries slavery was a huge part of life across the globe. Many countries (for instance; the US and UK) bought slaves, and many countries unwillingly provided them. However not everyone agreed with slave-labour, least of all the slaves themselves, and there were many important figures who believed it was wrong, immoral and should be stopped. A combination of other factors also helped this point. Although the main buyers of slaves were the wealthy, middle-class whites, many of these people disliked slavery and a great number of them fought against it. A very important example of this is Granville Sharp, he was one of the first non-slaves to fight against it and he was one of the few to start the campaign. ...read more.

Middle

Another important figure is William Wilberforce, as an MP he had direct links to parliament and used these to make many successful speeches against the slave trade. The working class whites also had a great part in this and even without the positions of importance and the power of the middle class they managed to help make a change. This was done through the use of petitions, which a growing number of people signed in late 18th and early 19th centuries, especially from 1788 to 1814. For example; in 1814 one and a half million people signed anti-slave-trade petitions. This had a huge effect on the government. The slaves? them-selves also had a great part in this movement and without the huge struggle from them the whole chain-reaction of anti-slavery would never have taken place. ...read more.

Conclusion

The final anti-slavery factor was the economic situation. This meant that London would buy products from wherever they could get them cheapest. This caused a lack for the need of slave labour in many places (e.g. Cuba and Brazil undercut the West Indies plantations). Therefore slave labour and trade fell across the world at a dramatic speed, for instance in 1771 Barbados imported 2728 slaves, but in 1772 they imported none. All of these factors combined first led, in 1807, to the slave trade being abolished by parliament, meaning that the selling or buying of slaves was illegal, yet the slaves already owned were to continue as slaves. In 1833 it then led to the complete abolishment of slavery in Britain and her Empires. I think that the factor which helped most to lead to this historic change was the middle-class-whites. ...read more.

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