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Abolition of slavery 1807 Why? Who? How?. How was slavery abolished? Very simple really… Anti-Slavery society formed in 1787 Slave trade abolished in.

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Presentation on theme: "Abolition of slavery 1807 Why? Who? How?. How was slavery abolished? Very simple really… Anti-Slavery society formed in 1787 Slave trade abolished in."— Presentation transcript:

1 Abolition of slavery 1807 Why? Who? How?

2 How was slavery abolished? Very simple really… Anti-Slavery society formed in 1787 Slave trade abolished in 1807, because Britain thought it was wicked All slaves in British colonies then set free in 1834 But was it so simple?

3 6 main arguments for abolition… 1.The moral case: ‘it was wicked’ 2.The economic case: ‘slavery was not worth it’ 3.The legal case: ‘slavery was illegal’ 4.The religious case: ‘slavery was unchristian’ 5.The political case: ‘slaves hated slavery’ 6.The revolutionary case: ‘slavery would lead to more revolts’ You are going to have to sort these into an order of importance…which do YOU think was the strongest reason for abolition?

4 The moral argument ‘Slavery is an evil of the first magnitude. It is a most horrible iniquity to traffic with the souls of men. Any man who deals with his fellow creatures with such wickedness should be held as the abomination of all mankind. Those who are the procurers and holders of slaves are the greatest villains in the world.’ Ottobah Cuguano – a black campaigner for abolition

5 The economic case In 1776 Adam Smith, in his book The Wealth of Nations argued that slave labour was inefficient, maintaining that a person with no rights had no reason to work hard. By the 1790s, French sugar was costing 20% less than British sugar. London merchants were no longer able to make good profits from the sugar trade. They started to transfer their investments from Caribbean plantations to the new cotton mills in Lancashire or the Empire in India.

6 The legal case By the 1770s there were some 15,000 black people in Britain. Most, brought by their owners from the West Indies, worked as household servants. A number of test cases seemed to show that slavery was not legal under British law Somerset case : a slave, James Somerset, had been brought to England and now refused to be taken, against his will, back to the colonies. The law decided that he could not be forced to go. Zong case 1781: the slave ship Zong had left Africa with 470 slaves and a crew of 17. By the time it was nearing Jamaica, most of the slaves were ill. The captain knew that he would not be able to sell the slaves in such poor condition so he ordered the sick slaves to be thrown overboard. He claimed that he had to do this to save the lives of the others and the crew because he was short of water. This allowed him to claim on the insurance value of the slaves. In fact, the insurers refused to pay and the case went to court. The ship owners claimed that the slaves were ‘goods and property’, not human beings. This case caused widespread horror, and helped to get the Anti-Slavery campaign going.

7 The religious case ‘repugnant to our religion’ (Barnsley Methodists) ‘A system full of wickedness, hateful to God, and a curse and disgrace to Britain’ (Derby) ‘A system revolting to the feelings of mankind and inconsistent with the counsels of Heaven’ (Hereford Ladies) Agitation to abolish the slave trade began in Britain in the 1760s. Many of its first members were Quakers. They received massed support from the Baptists and Methodists and, in 1787, persuaded Granville Sharp to become the chairman of the Society for the Abolition of the Slave Trade.

8 The political case: problems in the Caribbean There was never a time when the white British rulers of their Caribbean islands felt totally secure. Slavery was never accepted, by the Africans particularly, but also by the native born black populations. There were a number of serious revolts: First Maroon war, Jamaica Revolt in Antigua 1760Tacky’s revolt in Jamaica 1763Kofi’s revolt in Guyana Second Maroon War in Jamaica Fedor’s rebellion, Grenada

9 The Revolutionary case The idea of fighting against oppression was encouraged by the ideas and activities of the French Revolution. The French island of Saint Domingue was the richest colony in the world, and the biggest slave market in the Americas. The French Revolution began in 1789 and, in 1791, the French Government declared all people equal. The whites in Saint Domingue would not accept this, and the slaves rose up in revolt. Their leader was Toussaint L’Ouverture and, in 1794, the French Government granted all slaves in Saint Domingue their freedom. The British, and other slave-owning countries in the Caribbean were horrified and sent troops to crush the rebellion. They were easily defeated by Toussaint L’Ouverture. In 1798 he became the first ruler of an independent black state.

10 Key Individuals Granville Sharp William Wilberforce Josiah Wedgwood Thomas Clarkson Olandah Equiano Lord Mansfield One more Do your own research on each of these. Who do you think made the greatest contribution to the abolition movement? Or a ‘Jolly’ lesson – groups of 4 – each group to do poster on their character. One person sits and explains their poster to visitors – feed back to group – 2 nd trip for info – each student to do recording info exercise and make judgement

11 Samuel Ally – the Manx slave "SAMUEL ALLY, an African and Native of St. Helena. Died the 28th of May, 1822, aged 18 years. Born a slave and exposed in early life to the corrupt influence of that unhappy state, he became a model of TRUTH and PROBITY. This stone is erected by a grateful master to the memory of a faithful servant.“ Colonel Mark Wilks ( ) was the son of the Rev. James Wilks (vicar of Kirk Michael and rector of Ballaugh ). He served with the East India Company and was appointed governor of St Helena in He was in post when Napoleon Bonaparte was exiled there in 1815, and became friends with the former emperor, who was impressed by his intelligence and wide knowledge and much regretted his replacement in 1816 by the quarrelsome Sir Hudson Lowe. (The Duke of Wellington is reported to have said that his removal was a mistake on the part of the Government.) He built Kirby House, to which he returned in 1816 on his retirement, bringing with him as a servant the former slave Samuel Ally.


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