Why the abolition of the Slave Trade and not Slavery? The members of the Society for the Abolition of the Slave Trade decided to concentrate on a campaign to persuade Parliament to prohibit the trading in slaves, for tactical reasons. They felt they were more likely to succeed, than if they demanded the abolition of slavery itself throughout the empire. They also believed that, if the trade was ceased, slavery would eventually wither away. Why did it take 20 years to abolish the trade? In the early years of the campaign, the abolitionists had great success in raising awareness and obtaining public support. The society collected evidence, gave lectures, petitioned Parliament and distributed thousands of pamphlets. You can find out about the tactics they used in the
In Parliament, both Charles James Fox and William Pitt the Younger agreed with the committee\’s aims. However, some of the most powerful economic interests of the day opposed them, including the formidable. Fortunes had been made through the trade and those benefiting were not going to give up easily. The first bill put to parliament in 1791 was rejected by 163 votes to 88. In 1793, Britain went to war against France. The Slave Trade was seen as the nursery of seamen and to oppose it seemed unpatriotic to many. Therefore attention became diverted away from the abolition of the trade, although Wilberforce continued to propose legislation for abolition in the House of Commons. It was not until 1807, when the evils of the trade were generally accepted, that the law was able to pass both Houses. The first breakthrough was in 1806, when wrote a bill that was passed, banning involvement in the Slave Trade with France. Other events also played a part. The Act of Union allowed 100 Irish MPs into Parliament, most of whom supported abolition.
The chances of abolition became even more favourable when, who was extremely sympathetic to the views of the anti-slavery committee, became Prime Minister after the death of William Pitt. The effect of Stephen\’s 1806 act was to reduce the trade by two-thirds, paving the way for the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act in February 1807. The Prime Minister, Lord Grenville, introduced the Slave Trade Abolition Bill in the House of Lords on the 2nd January 1807 when it received a first reading. The House of Lords, voted for the abolition of the slave trade on 5th February by 100 votes to 34; after an impassioned speech by the Prime minister, despite opposition from the West India Lobby. The bill was debated for ten hours in the House of Commons on 23rd February. At 4am the next morning the House voted in favour of the Bill by 283 votes to 16. Finally on 25 March 1807 the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act received its royal assent, abolishing the slave trade in the British colonies and making it illegal to carry enslaved people in British ships. What were the effects of the abolition? The act abolished the Slave Trade in the British colonies. It became illegal to carry slaves in British ships (although many ships tried to evade the ban). The ultimate aim, however, had always been the abolition of slavery itself. The abolitionists had assumed that ending the Slave Trade would eventually lead to the freeing of all enslaved people. When it became clear this would not happen, Clarkson joined with in 1823, to form \’the Society for the Mitigation and Gradual Abolition of Slavery\’ (later the Anti-Slavery Society). At first the aim, as the title suggests, was for gradual abolition. In May 1823, Thomas Fowell Buxton, the Society\’s representative, introduced a motion in the House of Commons, That the state of Slavery is repugnant to the principles of the British constitution and of the Christian religion and that it ought to be gradually abolished throughout the British colonies.
However, when it became clear that the West Indian planters were not implementing the improvements to conditions and rights for enslaved people, that had been agreed in an 1823 \’amelioration programme\’, the abolitionists hardened their stance. New campaigners, such as, pressed for total abolition and the removal of the word \’gradual\’ from the resolution. In the second quarter of the nineteenth century, the abolitionists, particuarly, organized letter-writing campaigns, petition drives and sugar boycotts. Thomas Clarkson went back on his travels, visiting every county in England, Scotland and Wales. The sons of James Stephen organised speaking tours around the country. By the late 1820s, abolitionists were demanding immediate emancipation, as well as supporting calls for political reform; this they saw as necessary, to break the control of the West India Lobby. Why was Slavery finally abolished in the British Empire? In July 1833, a Bill to abolish slavery throughout the passed in the House of Commons, followed by the House of Lords on 1st August. There has been a lot of debate over the factors that contributed to the final success of the bill: A change in economic interests. After 1776, when America became independent, Britain\’s sugar colonies, such as Jamaica and Barbados, declined as America could trade directly with the French and Dutch in the West Indies. Furthermore, as the took hold in the 18th century, Britain no longer needed slave-based goods. The country was more able to prosper from new systems which required high efficiency, through free trade and free labour.
Cotton, rather than sugar, became the main produce of the British economy and English towns, such as Manchester and Salford, became industrial centres of world importance. Resistance by enslaved people. Enslaved people had resisted the trade since it began. However, the French Revolution brought ideas of liberty and equality, which inspired those seeking an end to slavery (for example, who led a successful slave revolt in Haiti). Major slave revolts followed ( 1816, 1822 and 1831-1832); they reduced profitability and gave a strong indication that, regardless of politicial opinion, the enslaved people were not going to tolerate enslavement. The revolts shocked the British government and made them see that the costs and dangers of keeping slavery in the West Indies were too high. In places like Jamaica, many terrified plantation owners were finally ready to accept abolition rather than risk a widespread war. Parliamentary reform. When parliament was finally reformed in 1832, two-thirds of those who supported slavery were swept from power. The once powerful had lost its political strength. Abolition campaigns and religious groups. The demand for freedom for enslaved people had become almost universal. It was now driven forward, not only by the formal abolition campaign but by a coalition of non-conformist churches as well as Evangelicals in the Church of England. The act, however, did not free enslaved people immediately; they were to become apprentices for 6 years. Compensation of 20 million was to be paid to the planters. Protests finally forced the government to abolish the apprenticeship system on 1st August, 1838. If you would like to read this page in Ukrainian go to: https://all-guides. com/publications/chomu-rabstvo-bulo-ostatochno-skasovano-u-britanskiy-imperiyi. html