Slave Trade in 1807

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In order to ascertain how significant beliefs and ideologies were in contributing to the abolition of the slave trade in 1807, and the eventual abolition of slavery in 1833, this assignment will consider moral, political,economic and religious factors which culminated into these two distinct reforms. It will explore the influence of Enlightenment; the impact of non-conformists; the role of individuals and resistance from slaves themselves. Additionally, it will look at the attitudes concerning the Atlantic slave trade and slavery from different perspectives. Justifications which were gleaned from the Bible, and from Antiquity, regarding the differences between white and black people meant that for much of the eighteenth century enslaving Africans was generally accepted. However, from the 1800s these beliefs and ideologies were challenged, and both slavery and the slave trade were progressively questioned and condemned. Enlightenment thinkers were instrumental in debates in which reason and intellect were dominant. They believed that individuals had the capacity to improve both themselves, and their environment. Underpinning Enlightenment ideas were the concepts of human and natural rights. Furthermore, the idea that the fundamental right of property is one's own person diminished the argument that any attack on slavery was an attack on property. Enlightened ideas influenced individuals such as Adam Smith who was concerned with economic policy,and Elizabeth Heyrick, who was a middle-class Quaker who pushed for immediate emancipation. (Unit 16,pp.87) Anthology 4.4 (a) and (b) provides definitions of slavery and the slave trade. The principal points raised are that men were born free and equal so slavery was contrary to natural... ... middle of paper ... ... ideologies which resulted in the anti-slavery stance which was integral for political reform. The abolition of the slave trade did not result in the immediate emancipation of slavery, the role of individuals who worked tirelessly with the development of campaigning techniques such as, mass petitioning, door-to-door campaigning, public meetings and the gathering of evidence were extremely valuable to the anti-slavery movement. Even still this process was a long one, and one that involved ordinary people, resistance from slaves themselves and pressure groups. Beliefs and ideologies, were therefore, the most fundamental factor for the abolition of both the Atlantic slave trade (1807) and slave emancipation (1833). The position of parliament and the enactments which resulted were heavily influenced by the beliefs and ideas of people who collectively made a difference.
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