Newly released captives on board HMS London

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The end of the slave trade to the end of slavery

The British Parliament passed an act to abolish the slave trade in 1807 but the trade continued in many British and European colonies until the 1890s. In 1833 An Act for the Abolition of Slavery throughout the British Colonies was passed. This did not apply to the whole of the British Empire and brought gradual not immediate emancipation. The Act became law on the 1st August 1834 and had three main points: all slaves under the age of six were to be immediately freed; slaves over the age of six would become an apprenticed labourer for a further four years; the government was to provide ?20 million in compensation to the slave-owners. No compensation was provided for the slaves. The exceptions to this Act included land owned by the East India Company, the Island of Ceylon and the Island of Saint Helena.

Background information

The background information provides an overview of events after 1807. It explains how the Royal Navy became active in policing abolition and intercepting slaving ships. Continued rebellions created unrest in the Caribbean, and is covered in information about the Baptist War in Jamaica in 1831.

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Emancipation (1)
    How much did the lives of enslaved men, women and children change after 1807?

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