This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

The Abolition Of Slavery And The Slave Trade"

2220 words - 9 pages

Towards the end of the eighteenth century and into the nineteenth century, the debate over whether or not to abolish the slave trade and emancipate the slaves became of premiere interest in Britain. An array of popular literature concerning slavery, written during the Romantic period, helped spur public interest in this debate. In this essay, I will first examine two popular Romantic period memoirs of former slaves, The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, and The History of Mary Prince, a West Indian Slave, in order to show the viewpoint of slavery from the slave's perspective. Next, I will compare and contrast the slave's lives with two differing British perspectives on slavery, one of which describes slavery as a moral responsibility, as presented in the play The Benevolent Planters, by Thomas Bellamy, and another that finds slavery morally reprehensible, as seen in poetry by Ann Cromartie Yearsley and William Cowper.Memoirs written by former slave traders and slaves supplied some of the most touching testimony favoring the abolition of slavery. One such work, The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, written by former slave Olaudah Equiano, immediately became an international bestseller. Through Equiano's eyes, the reader sees the inhumanity of the white slave traders, the violence inflicted upon the slaves, in particularly the female slaves, and the hardships even a freed slave must endure. Equiano, also known as Gustavus Vassa, among other names given to him by his many different masters, was kidnapped from Africa at age ten and sold to an Englishman.Aboard the slaver's ship during the Middle Passage, Equiano's innocence and naiveté is reflected by his wonderment concerning his fate and the white men, whom Equiano believes are spirits because of their strange looks and ability to move the ship. Perhaps because of his lack of knowledge, Equiano provides the reader with a riveting look at human nature.During the Romantic Period, some planters and merchants used the savagery of the Africans as a defense for the slave trade, yet Equiano shows the reader that the true savages are the English slave traders. Referring to the cruelty of his white captives, who flog frightened, sick slaves for refusing to eat or drink, and even inflict violence upon one another, Equiano writes, "the white people looked and acted, as I thought, in so savage a manner; for I had never seen among any people such instances of brutal cruelty." (Damrosch (ed) 2003:162) Once Equiano reaches England, he proceeds to learn the English language and other aspects of the English culture, such as the proper way to shave and dress. In addition, Equiano became a devote Christian. Although Equiano becomes attached to his life in England and his master, ultimately his master betrays him by stealing Equiano's meager earnings and selling him again into slavery.Next, an American merchant, Robert King, purchases Equiano. Surprisingly, Equiano...

Find Another Essay On The Abolition of Slavery and the Slave Trade"

The Atlantic Slave Trade: The Impact of the Slave Trade on Africa and Its People

772 words - 4 pages Today slavery is widely considered illegal and immoral, but for many centuries everywhere in the world, it was a common practice. The question that I am going to be answering throughout this paper is what impact the Atlantic Slave Trade had on Africa and its people. The Atlantic Slave Trade was the forced trade of over 15 million African people across the Middle Passage which was from western Africa, across the Atlantic Ocean, and to the


1094 words - 5 pages MEMORIES OF THE SLAVE TRADE (Rosalind Shaw) “Memories of Slave Trade” challenges recurring claims that Africans felt and still feel no sense of moral obligation concerning the sale of slaves, Shaw traces memories of the slave trade in Temne-speaking communities in Sierra Leone. While the slave-trading past is infrequently recollected in explicit verbal accounts, it is frequently made vividly present in such structures as rogue spirits, ritual

Dehumanization of the Slave Trade

2448 words - 10 pages Dehumanization of the Slave Trade Bare feet walked across the rocky dirt road. Hands, feet, and wrists chained together. A long line of black people, men and women and even young maturing children. Beaded up hair from the water and sweat dripping from their filthy bodies from the hot desert-like sun beaming upon them. Dusty looking skin from the times they fell and tried so hard to get up. Empty stomachs; starving people; black

European Abolition of Slavery: The Legacy of Literature, Media, and Censorship

1065 words - 5 pages The British abolished the slave trade in 1807 and slavery in 1833; however, the French did not abolish slavery until 1848, due to many differences between the two countries, especially during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. The British generally understood the mindset of their slaves to a greater extent than the French, and by showing the British people the horrors of slavery they abolished it fifteen years before the French

Immediate and Far Reaching Effects of the Slave Trade

730 words - 3 pages and devastating long term effect. We discussed in class and caught a glimpse of slavery before the trans-Atlantic slave trade in the novel Segu. Before the trans-Atlantic trade, slavery in Africa was not chattel slavery. There were laws that protected slaves and some even possessed status. A large portion of people in were in slavery as a result of debts. People would sell themselves, their children, or other relative into slavery with the idea

The Beginning of the Slave Trade

527 words - 2 pages , the European profits multiplied. “…Europeans profited handsomely from the trade, as did the port cities and the state that coordinated trade with European merchants” (p. 427). In addition, our supplementary reading about former slave Olaudah Equiano describes his experience with the slave trade. He labeled the ordeal as horrific and unimaginable. Although slavery occurred as a central role in the history of the United States, the freedom of

The History of the Slave Trade

1051 words - 4 pages resulted in the thinking that Africa was not important and the lives of all of those people were not important. It "engendered the racism and contempt from which Africans still suffer" (M'bokolo).There was slavery in Africa prior to the Atlantic Slave Trade, but this slavery was different in many ways. The method of acquiring slaves was one of the main differences. Throughout history slavery has always been a factor in every society. But, the people

The Economics of the African Slave Trade

3345 words - 13 pages Africans to Persia, Arabia, and other Islamic lands. As kings and princes began to embrace Islam they cooperated with the Arabians in the slave trade. Slaves were primarily used as servants, and the demand for slaves depended on the wealth of the master. This form of slavery was used to serve royalty, also slaves were granted some freedom if they converted to Islam, which served Arabs well as their priority was to spread Islam.The Renaissance

The Slave Trade of the Igbo People

755 words - 3 pages During the Atlantic Slave Trade there were 1.7 million Africans fro m the Bight of Biafra enslaved and brought to the New World. Of those 1.7 million, nearly 1.3 million were Igbo. From the 16th to the 19th centuries European and American slave traders were kidnapping and enslaving a large number of Africans to the New World and as a result of the influx of Africans there were many great cultural influences that came from the African

The Atlantic Slave Trade

952 words - 4 pages The Atlantic Slave Trade The changes in African life during the slave trade era form an important element in the economic and technological development of Africa. Although the Atlantic slave trade had a negative effect on both the economy and technology, it is important to understand that slavery was not a new concept to Africa. In fact, internal slavery existed in Africa for many years. Slaves included war captives, the kidnapped

The Atlantic Slave Trade

1185 words - 5 pages The Atlantic Slave Trade Did you know that the African were tricked into slavery? They would cry out to each other in a quiet voice to say “We raise the wheat they give us the corn; we bake the bread, they give us the crust; we peel the meat, they give us the skin, and that’s the way they takes us in.” The Atlantic Slave Trade known as the Middle passage which was the heart of slavery. The slave trade took place between the 1500s through the

Similar Essays

Frederick Douglass And The Abolition Of Slavery

748 words - 3 pages Frederick Douglass and the Abolition of Slavery There were many influential people who fought for the abolition of slavery in the 1800s. Among these people are Harriet Tubman, William Lloyd Garrison, and our sixteenth president, Abraham Lincoln. Frederick Douglass is one of these people. As a former slave, Frederick Douglass believed he could not enjoy his freedom while the rest of his people suffered under the burden of slavery. Therefore

John Woolman And The Abolition Of Slavery

1148 words - 5 pages him/her for that. Once again another proverbial slap in the face for slave owning Christians because they know they have been passed down favors by God and they cannot argue against the fact that they have misused their gifts and have enslaved people. Woolman says,"It appears by Holy Record that men under high favors have been apt to err in their opinions concerning others."This is his way of saying that too many possessions can make a

Abolition Of Slavery In The United States

1270 words - 6 pages of the Transatlantic Slave trade in 1808 in the United States because there was no need economically to import slaves because slave families were reproducing children. The eventual end of slavery started with the Civil War. The Emancipation Proclamation declared free by Abraham Lincoln's 1863, but it was not until the 13th amendment was passed and ratified on December 6, 1865, that slavery was truly abolished in the United States. The ending of

The Abolition Of Slavery In France

1547 words - 7 pages demand in word the abolition of the slave trade…” They point that if slaves gained freedom it “would not only be a fatal operation for the colonies; it would even be a deadly gift for the blacks, in the state of abjection and incompetence to which cupidity has reduced them.” Going along with this idea, document 26 titled “The Abolition of Negro Slavery or Means for Ameliorating Their Lot,” provides a plan to free slaves after a set number of years