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Revisiting slavery 2

In helping to bring about the end of one form of slavery, the Abolition Act of 1807 gave birth to another

By Aarathi Prasad   April 2007

Two hundred years ago, the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act was passed. British captains caught continuing the trade were fined £100 for every slave found aboard their ships. It was not a particularly effective piece of legislation: many slavers who found themselves under a naval frigate’s guns found it more economical simply to throw their cargo overboard. But even the risk of that wasn’t high—after 1807 at least 82,000 slaves left the coast of Africa and most of those made it to the Caribbean. As its name suggests, the act didn’t abolish the owning of slaves, merely their trade.…

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