Link to Home pageLink to GlossaryLink to TimelineLinks to useful websitesLink to worksheet Print the sources
Link to notes for teachersContact details for 4schools
Home > The struggle to end slavery

The struggle to end slavery

Montage 
          of images showing map of the slave coast, advert for a slave auction, 
          a female slave at work and the seal of the Anti-Slavery Society.

Montage of images showing map of the slave coast, advert for a slave auction, a female slave at work and the seal of the Anti-Slavery Society.

 

By the time Britain abolished it in 1833, slavery, as an institution, had been in existence for over 400 years. With so many people involved and so much money tied up in it, it was never going to end overnight.

In Britain the struggle to bring about the end of slavery started at the end of the eighteenth century. The first group formed to agitate for a ban on the trade in slaves, the Society for the Abolition of the Slave Trade, was established in 1787 and it spent the next two decades lobbying Parliament and organising petitioning campaigns. Despite having popular support, however, it was not until 1807 that the slave trade was banned.

Although the trade in slaves had ended the campaigners now faced another challenge: the struggle to end slavery itself. The battle was led by groups such as the Society for the Mitigation and Abolition of Slavery and the Anti-Slavery Society but they faced opposition from interest groups such as the West India Planters and Merchants. It took another quarter of a century before slavery was finally abolished in the British Empire.

You can find out more about the struggle to end slavery by looking at the following case studies: the pro-slavery argument and the anti-slavery argument.

 

Go to Case Study 1Go to Case Study 2

Home | Glossary | Timeline | Links | Worksheet | Print
Teachers | Contact