Antiqua Print Gallery Abolition of Slavery
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Abolition of Slavery

In 1807 the British Parliament passed the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act, under which captains of slave ships could be stiffly fined for each slave transported. This was later superseded by the 1833 Slavery Abolition Act, which freed all slaves in the British Empire. Abolition was then extended to the rest of Europe. The 1820 U.S. Law on Slave Trade made slave trading piracy, punishable by death. In 1827, Britain declares the slave trade piracy, punishable by death. The power of the Royal Navy was subsequently used to suppress the slave trade, and while some illegal trade, mostly with Brazil, continued, the Atlantic slave trade would be eradicated by the middle of the 19th century. The West Africa Squadron was credited with capturing 1,600 slave ships between 1808 and 1860 and freeing 150,000 Africans who were aboard these ships. Action was also taken against African leaders who refused to agree to British treaties to outlaw the trade, for example against ‘the usurping King of Lagos’, deposed in 1851. Anti-slavery treaties were signed with over 50 African rulers.
The Islamic trans-Saharan and Indian Ocean trades continued, however, and even increased as new sources of slaves became available. In Caucasus, slavery was abolished after Russian conquest. The slave trade within Africa also increased. The British Navy could suppress much of the trade in the Indian Ocean, but the European powers could do little to affect the intra-continental trade.

(Source Wikipedia)