British Made: Abolition and the Africa Trade

Kevin Shillington looks at the impact on Africa of the slave trade, and its abolition 200 years ago this month.

March 2007 marks the 200th anniversary of the Act of Parliament that officially ended direct British involvement in the transatlantic slave trade. The Act of 1807 made it illegal for British ships to transport captive Africans across the Atlantic for sale into slavery. That, however, was the full extent of the Act’s ban. Other European nations continued the nefarious trade well into the mid-nineteenth century, a number of their ventures bolstered by finance from British investors. Slavery itself continued in British colonies for a further three decades and was not finally abolished throughout the trans-atlantic world until the 1880s. 

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