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On this date, 214 years ago…

Image credit: Slaves cutting the sugar cane on the Island of Antigua, 1823; unsplash.com; British Library


The formal end of the slave trade in the British Empire

The Committee for Abolition of the Slave Trade, which was formed in 1787, was among the first unions in Britain that organized opposition to slavery in the Empire. Another 20 years passed before they formed a large group of supporters in the British parliament. They gathered around the idea that slavery is a despicable act against humanity and Christian morals.

One of the greatest proponents of anti-slavery ideals was William Wilberforce. More and more MPs in the House of Commons were advocating more humanistic views and expressed deep indignation against the slavery trade. Finally, on 23 February 1807, the House of Commons passed the bill with the striking vote majority of 283 to 16, and one month later, on 25 March 1807, King George III signed the bill and it became law.

However, the slave trade continued in some of the more remote countries, which were part of the Empire. It was around 1833 when British Empire completely outlawed the abhorrent practices of slavery and human trade.

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