The trading and exportation of slaves has been a large part if Britain’s history since the early 15th century and the British Empire had been partly founded on the basis of exchanging slaves for goods and foreign products. 400 years after the slave trade began and people were finally realising how morally wrong the exchanging of humans actually was and on March 3, 1807, President Thomas Jefferson signed into act a bill approved by Congress the day before “to prohibit the importation of slaves into any port or place within the jurisdiction of the United States.” Three weeks later, on the 25th, the British House of Lords passed an Act for the Abolition of The Slave Trade. But why was the slave trade abolished and what were the main reasons of this act?
There were many reasons why the trade of slaves was abolished in 1808. Political, economic and religious reasons were just among the various factors why the trade came to an end. Also a few key individuals had their own important roles in making the slave trade illegal.
A key individual from that period was the ex-black slave, Oluadah Equiano. He was taken from his home in Africa as a young child and brought on a slave ship to America where he was separated from his family and his sister who was also captured. He was bought by a rich naval Captain and spent 10 years of his captivity on several vessels engaged in commerce and sometimes in naval warfare. During his years as a slave he managed to earn money and earned enough to buy his freedom. He went on to be the first African writer to reach a large audience of American people. He wrote his autobiography The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. This book influenced many British people and caused them to be anti-slavery and exposing to the general public the hardships a slave faced causing much uproar.
But there were other key individuals who weren’t necessarily of African origin...