Abolitionism and Anti-Slavery (British)

Historical Context Essay

Peter Kitson (University of East Anglia)
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“Abolitionism” generally refers to the political and cultural movement directed against the British Atlantic trade in slaves. This activity was at its height during the period from roughly 1780 to 1807 when the trade was formally abolished within the British colonies. Between 1680 and 1783 more than two million African slaves were transported to the British colonies alone, and it is estimated that British ships were carrying over 50,000 slaves a year to the Americas between 1791 and 1800 to work in the sugar plantations of the Caribbean and the rice, cotton and tobacco plantations of North America. Most of the slaves went to the sugar colonies, which were believed to account for a substantial portion of Britain's commercial prosperity. Abolitionism, however, was never simply a British…

2485 words

Citation: Kitson, Peter. "Abolitionism and Anti-Slavery (British)". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 14 July 2004 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=8, accessed 13 June 2024.]

8 Abolitionism and Anti-Slavery (British) 2 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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