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The Slavery Abolition Act comes into force

Posted in Anniversary, History, Law on Thursday, 22 July 2010

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picture, slave trade, raiders, Africa

A raiding party gathers slaves from an African village. Illustration by James E. McConnell

1 August marks the anniversary of the enactment of the Slavory Abolition Act in 1834. It outlawed slavery across the British Empire except for certain territories (notably those under the control of the East India Company).

The slave trade had been outlawed in Britain since 1807 and the Slave Trade Act. In practice it did not stop the trade. Nor did the Slavery Abolition Act end slavery; slaves were redesignated apprentices and owners were allowed up to six years before full emancipation was required by law.

More pictures relating to the history of slaves and the slave trade can be found here. Many more illustrations by James E. McConnell are available at the Look and Learn picture library.

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