The Pennsylvanian Origins of British Abolitionism


By Brycchan Carey, published 17th March 2008

It can have escaped the attention of very few people in the United Kingdom that 2007 marks the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the slave trade in British ships. Slavery itself continued to be legal in Britain and its colonies until the 1830s, while other nations continued both to hold and to trade in slaves until late in the nineteenth century and, in some cases, beyond. Nevertheless, 1807 did mark a turning point. The world’s largest slavetrading nation had withdrawn from the trade with many declarations of its moral superiority in so doing.

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