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"The Slave Trade"

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The direct importation of slaves from Africa into the United States was officially ended in 1808 by an act of Congress. That same year Great Britain also forbade the slave trade into the English colonies of the New World. Great Britain, whose government was much more sympathetic to the antislavery movement than the United States, then began a campaign to force all other countries from importing African slaves. By 1838 the entire British Empire was free from chattel slavery, as were all of the Spanish-speaking Latin American countries save Cuba. Brazil too, had a large slave economy, as did some of the French colonial islands. Technically, Brazil signed treaties that closed the African slave trade but a thriving illegal trade sprang up. The others continued to allow the importation of slaves from African. In the 1820s, Great Britain began vigorous efforts to stop the slave trade, even boarding and seizing vessels of other countries. Many of these ships were vessels based in U.S. harbors, with the profits going to American owners. The abolitionist movement in the U.S. fought against this with a number of tactics including articles such as this one. They hoped by publicizing specific persons involvement in the trade they would be shamed into stopping. The trade, both legal and illegal, continued into the 1860s.


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