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William Wilberforce and the abolition of slavery in the British Empire

Februar 25, 2014 Von: Wöhlke Kategorie: Ausland, Englisch, Gastartikel, Geschichte, Gesellschaft, In anderen Sprachen, Politik, Redaktionelle Beiträge, Schiffsreisen, Soziales, Wirtschaft 2 Kommentare →

by Professor Derek Fraser

 (A shortened version of a lecture given on board Queen Elizabeth as part of the Cunard Insights programme January 2014)

 

Am I not a man and a brother?

Am I not a man and a brother?

Slavery is as old as civilisation itself and many ancient Empires, including Egypt, Greece and Rome, were built on slave labour.  However, in the 17th and 18th centuries slavery took on a new more systematic form, in the wake of the voyages of exploration to and colonisation of the Americas by Europeans.  The fertile land of the New World generated a demand for labour which far exceeded the supply of both indigenous peoples and migrants.  Africa seemed to promise an unlimited supply of labour which the colonies needed and so the infamous triangular slave trade developed.  Ships from Europe would take manufactured goods, including basic armaments, to ports in West Africa.  There the products were offloaded and traded for African slaves, brought to the huge slave warehouses by unscrupulous traders, (mehr …)