Stop African Slave Trafficking

By | December 5, 2019

The End of African Slave Trafficking was motivated by economic, humanitarian and religious reasons.

Throughout the nineteenth century several European nations banned the slave trade and abolished slavery in their colonies due to a change in mentality and the mode of production.


With the consolidation of the Enlightenment and liberalism, the ideas that judged black Africans as inferior beings and, therefore, subject to enslavement were being questioned.

The black came to be seen as an uncivilized being and it would be up to the European to civilize him on his own continent.

The factors that contributed to the success of the end of slavery were precisely the ones that triggered its beginning.

Religious Reasons

Religion, especially the Anglican Church and Protestantism, will play an essential role in this process.

Narratives of former slaves about the condition of human commodities contributed to inflate the abolitionist movements in Europe.

Gradually, the slave trade came to be classified as “trafficking”, “infamous trade” and “trade in souls”.

Thought gained popular support, reached the elite, and slavery came under moral attack.

Churches and society began to organize by promoting events and petitions that called for an end to slavery.

Economic Reasons

European nations, especially England, saw on the African continent a fruitful source of wealth. Maintaining the people trading system was impossible for the exploitation of the continent’s natural resources.

This was because slave traders were usually local chiefs and rulers. Although they operated in the trade of people, they limited the entry of the European beyond the coast.

Thus, the advantage would be greater for the exploration of the territory and the ideal manpower to work in ore mines and agriculture.

There were also a number of natural products that catered to the fledgling industry such as rubber, palm oil, and peanuts.

Similarly, slave labor cost less than a wage laborer. Thus those who used slave labor would offer a cheaper product than those who paid workers.

Trade Combat

The process of abolition of slavery will be particular in each of the countries that used it. However, virtually all begin by abolishing the transport of slaves to their colonies so that the slave population would not increase.

Then slavery was abolished gradually, starting with emancipating the young, or the unborn, as was the case with the Free Belly Law in Brazil. This meant avoiding social upheavals and allowing time for the transition from slave to free labor.

Also the supply of slave labor to work in the American colonies began to succumb after successive internal revolts in the late eighteenth century.

Among the most important is Haiti, whose independence resulted from slave revolts. The French colony was the only possession of American America to have its independence fully realized by slaves.

The first country to ban the slave trade from its colonies was Denmark in 1792.

England prohibited the trafficking of enslaved human beings in 1807 in the North Atlantic, a measure that reached the Caribbean colonies and the southern United States.

Later he pressured both Dom João VI and Dom Pedro I to abolish the slave trade between Africa and Brazil.

However, the abolition of slavery in Brazil would be slow and gradual, with parliament controlling the process so as not to undo the established order.


Slavery will have consequences on both Africa and America.


Slavery in Africa has caused a deep imprint on the continent. It is estimated that about 12 million people have crossed the Atlantic to America. These could have served for their economic and intellectual development.

With the occupation of the African territory and the subsequent Sharing of Africa we see an increase of ethnic wars and social disintegration.


In all countries that used slave labor we can see the same results. Afrodescendants suffer racism, are at the bottom of society, have lower incomes and are more likely to be poor.

Despite all this perverse effect, blacks scattered throughout the world carried within them their ancestral culture, customs, religion, and knowledge of agriculture and animal husbandry.

In this way, they mixed their culture with that of the colonizer and the result is seen in music such as samba, tango, salsa, Cuban danzón, jazz, blues, etc.

Religions were also reinterpreted and gave rise to candomblé, santeria, candombe, umbanda, etc.

The cuisine has been enriched with vegetable flavors such as okra and yam, the constant use of beans and new ways to prepare poultry and meat.

End of Slavery Chronology

1773 Abolishes slavery in Portugal.
1777 End of slavery in Madeira Island.
1792 Denmark prohibits the slave trade to its Caribbean colonies, the present Virgin Islands (USA). It is the first country to do so.
1794 Haiti decrees the end of slavery.
1802 Napoleon Bonaparte restores slavery in Haiti.
1803 The law prohibiting the slave trade for the Danish colonies comes into force.
1807 England prohibits the North Atlantic slave trade. Months later, the United States would ban trafficking, although it would continue to participate in Caribbean trade.
1810 England gives in and allows the gradual abolition of slaves in Portuguese possessions. Only the Portuguese territories in Africa could continue to traffic.
1811 Chile declared freedom for all born to slave wombs and the end of slave trade.
1813 Argentina decrees freedom for all those born to slave wombs from that date.
1814 The Netherlands prohibits slave trade.
1816 The slave trade is declared illegal in France and its colonies.
1816 Simon Bolivar grants freedom to all slaves who join the Patriot Army.
1817 King Fernando VII forbids the slave trade to the Spanish colonies.
1821 End slave trade to Peru and implement a plan to phase out slavery gradually.
1822 Abolition of slavery in Santo Domingo.
1823 Chile prohibits slavery.
1823 The abolition of slavery has been decreed in the United Provinces of Central America (present-day Guatemala, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Honduras).
1826 End of slavery in Bolivia.
1829 Mexico decrees the end of slavery.
1831 Promulgated the Law Feijó that decreed free all enslaved arrived in Brazil from that year.
1833 The English Parliament extinguishes slavery in the British Empire. From 1833 to 1838, slave labor will be extinguished in the Antilles, Belize and Bahamas (West Indies), Guyana and Mauritius.
1840 The Swedish Parliament decrees the end of the slave trade in the colony of St. Bartholomew in the Caribbean.
1842 Abolished slavery in Uruguay.
1845 England prohibits slave trade between Africa in the South Atlantic through the Bill Aberdeen Act .
1847 Abolition of slavery on the island of St. Bartholomew, at the time a colony of Sweden.
1848 Denmark frees slaves in their colonies.
1848 The Second French Republic decrees the end of slavery in its colonies.
1850 Sanctioned the Law Eusébio de Queirós , which prohibits the trade of blacks to Brazil.
1851 Abolition of slavery in Ecuador where owners were compensated for each freed slave.
1852 Abolition of slavery in Colombia.
1853 End of slavery in Argentina.
1854 Venezuela and Peru decree the end of slavery
1862 Ban on slave trade to Cuba.
1863 End of slavery in the Dutch colonies of the Antilles and Suriname.
1865 The United States of America decrees the end of slavery and the southern states decide to separate from the Union. The Civil War begins .
1869 Abolishes slavery in Paraguay.
1869 Decree of the end of slavery in all colonies of Portugal.
1871 Promulgated the Free Belly Law in Brazil.
1873 Abolition of slavery in Puerto Rico.
1875 End of slavery in Sao Tome and Principe.
1884 Slavery is extinguished in Ceará.
1885 The Sexagenarian Law in Brazil is promulgated .
1886 End of slavery in Cuba.
1888 End of slavery in Brazil with the Golden Law .
1890 England decrees the end of slavery in Tunisia.
1897 Abolition of slavery in Madagascar.
1936 Abolition of slavery in Nigeria.
1963 Abolition of slavery in Saudi Arabia.
1981 End of slavery in Mauritania.