Factors Leading to the Abolition of the Slave Trade

2517 words 11 pages
The Economic, Social and Political Factors of the Abolition of the Slave Trade by Jessica Comeau

The Trans-Atlantic slave trade had deep and far reaching affects on the continent of Africa and its people. Prior to the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, there was an active slave trade within Africa, although the connotation of the word slave was not the same for the Africans as it was for the Europeans. In an African society, a slave could eventually marry into the master’s family and rise to a prominent position within the state. Similarly, in the African society slaves were often taken solely to pay off debts and once the debt had been worked off, the ‘slave’ was free to go. This understanding of the word slave did not denote an entire
…show more content…

The public was called upon to sign these petitions and the majority of these were in favor of abolishing the slave trade.[9] In 1814, Britain was titled as the ‘public of Europe’ which gave the country the ability to conduct courts and nations with authority.[10] After this naming of Britain, the 1814-1815 Congress of Vienna took place. Major delegates from across Europe attended the conference and went on to issue a joint declaration that the slave trade “desolate Africa, degraded Europe and afflicted humanity” and should be ended.” [11] Contrary to what was taking place in the United States, where a slower, almost stagnant approach was happening, the abolitionist movement was quickly gaining momentum in Britain. The industrial revolution would soon contribute to the speed of the antislavery movement, both in Europe and the United States, with the economics of slavery changing. As items were being produced through quicker, less expensive manufacturing methods, the idea of using plantations and slavery- especially in regards to sugar, was becoming a thing of the past.

From a social point of view, the abolition of the slave trade was quickly gaining public support in Britain. The first human rights movements were being spawned and entire societies formed that were dedicated to the equal and fair treatment of every individual, regardless of their origins or skin color. By 1814, some of the first human rights organizations had begun and