Journal Epohi
“ST. CYRIL AND ST. METHODIUS” UNIVERSITY OF VELIKO TARNOVO - UNIVERSITY PRESS

Abolitionism and the End of the Legal Slave Trade in Great Britain


Authors:
Pavlin Atanasov St. Cyril and St. Methodius University of Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria

Pages: 105-116
DOI: https://doi.org/10.54664/VWTB4907

Abstract:

The article deals with the problem of emergence and development of abolitionism in Great Britain at the end of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th centuries. At that time the country played a leading role in the transatlantic slave trade and it was an irony in history that it was Britain that became home of a popular movement that aimed to put an end to the infamous human traffic and, eventually, to slavery in general. From an isolated idea of few people abolitionism grew into the first real civil rights movement in Great Britain which gained a powerful social support and in 1807 succeeded to pass the Slave Trade Act in the Parliament. The author presents both the arguments of the supporters and the opponents of the transatlantic trade focusing on the roles of the leading abolitionists, such as Granville Sharp, Thomas Clarkson and William Wilberforce. Since the abolitionists’ views were more well-grounded than those of the planters, they were able to win the public opinion and to carry the day.

Keywords:

slave trade; abolitionism; Quakers; Granville Sharp; Thomas Clarkson; William Wilberforce; The Slave Trade Act 1807

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