Britain’s Separation from the Slave Trade: An Act of Morality

analytical Essay
1399 words
1399 words

During the eighteenth-century, at the height of the British involvement in the slave trade, few could have predicted that there would be movements looking to abolish the trafficking of slaves. Though the Transatlantic slave trade proved to be a crucial component to the success of Britain’s imperial dominance, it was ended in 1807. The abolition of the Britain’s involvement in the slave trade was marked by familiarizing the nation’s citizens of the lack of morality and inhumanness experienced by individuals on several occasions involving the slave trade, and the persistence of several key individuals looking to exploit these occasions. The transatlantic slave trade began around the sixteenth-century, with Africans being imported into the Spanish Americas . The seventeenth-century is where the large scale of African slave labor British Caribbean can be found1. It is also at this time the British began to flourish economically as a result to the slave trade. The slave trade helped Britain establish capitalism within its society, with the development of merchants and planters. With Sugar being the most lucrative import brought into Britain, it created a change in the social lives of the people of Britain . As a result, the demand for sugar escalated and, backed by slave labor, Britain was able to generate substantial returns of capital2. The slave trade made the imperial British Empire a dominant economic powerhouse. Abolishing the slave trade needed parliamentary approval because of the great deal of success the slave trade had with tacit acceptance since the seventeenth century. This campaign to get rid of the slave trade extended beyond parliament; it became a national debate. The abolition movement and argument about distasteful... ... middle of paper ... the death of William Pitt the Younger, British prime minister, in 1806, the Slavery Trade Act of 1807 was passed . The younger Pitt’s death lead to the change in parliamentary control. Among the new administration were politicians from both Whig and Tory benches, it also included a number of politicians, from both parties, committed to the abolishment of the slave trade . The once powerful movement became crippled by the abolishment of slavery. Slave trading had been such an intricate part of Britain’s economic success, and accounted for much of the nation’s revenue. Through popular press, detailed writings, and popular legal cases the immorality and vileness of slave trading was publicized. As a result, the much of the British society took a stance on the matter, and aided the individuals involved in the powerful movement to abolish the slave trading business.

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that the transatlantic slave trade proved to be a crucial component to the success of britain’s imperial dominance, but it was ended in 1807.
  • Explains that the transatlantic slave trade began around the sixteenth-century, with africans being imported into the spanish americas.
  • Explains that the abolition movement was aided by lord chief mansfield's decision in 1772, which meant that slaves could not be forcibly returned to their masters in england.
  • Narrates how the abolition movement gained publicity with the zong ship in 1783. the ship's capitan, luke collingwood, ordered his ship crew to throw slaves overboard to prevent loss of profit.
  • Explains how wilberforce's committee for the abolition of the slave trade, established in 1787, aimed to diffuse knowledge about the lack of morality of slavery and the treatment of slaves.
  • Analyzes how abolitionists used parliamentary propaganda and real-life accounts to explain the immorality of slavery. wilberforce's motions made british citizens realize that keeping one commandment and breaking all rest, would not be sufficient.
  • Analyzes how the writings of olaudah equiano and james field stanfield illustrate the depravity and degeneracy of the slave trade.
  • Explains that josiah wedgwood's medallions were popular after the dolben acts and the slave carrying bill were passed.
  • Explains that wilberforce's motions in the house of commons were rejected, but with the country at war the issue about the abolishment of the slave trade was put on hold.
  • Explains how the powerful movement became crippled by the abolishment of slavery. the immorality and vileness of slave trading was publicized through popular press, writings, and popular legal cases.
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