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"Sacrifice of Life"

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The importation of slaves directly from Africa to the United States was outlawed by Congress in 1808, the first year allowed by the Constitution. By then many southern states had found it more profitable to sell their "excess" slave population domestically rather than to pay for the importation of slaves from Africa. The other slave societies of the Western Hemisphere continued importing slaves. All the Spanish-speaking Latin American countries that gained their independence from Spain in the period from 1815 to 1821 abolished slavery, leaving only the United States, Cuba, and Brazil as slaveowning societies. Importation into Cuba and Brazil continued but antislavery activists continued their pressure in Great Britain. In the 1830s the British navy was used to stop slavers of all nations from leaving Africa, with a fair amount of success. American ships continued participating in the slave trade, although the number steadily decreased as getting their goods to market became increasingly difficult. The illegal importation of slaves continued and illegal slaves were landed in the south as late as the 1850s. There exists little documentation of this trade though. This article was a part of the American antislavery movement which continued to publicize all known incidents of slavery from Africa.


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