Modern History/The abolition of slavery

Timeline for the Abolition of Slavery


1542 Native slaves freed and native slavery abolished in all Spanish American colonies by Emperor Charles I of Spain under the New Laws of Indies, declaring all "Indians" free citizens of the Spanish Empire.

1772 Slavery declared illegal in England. Lord Chief Justice Mansfield rules that English law does not support slavery

1777 Slavery abolished in Vermont, USA

1778 Slavery Illegal in Scotland

1783 Massachusetts declares slavery illegal

1792 Slave trading abolished in Denmark (though slavery continues to 1847).

1787 Sierra Leone founded by British as state for emancipated slaves

1788 Bill regulating the conditions on slave ships enacted

1791 Haiti gains independence and emancipation

1799 New York State introduces gradual emancipation

1802 Danish abolish slave trade in Danish colonies

1807 Slave trading abolished in British Empire. Captains fined £100 per slave transported.

1807 British begin patrols of African coast to arrest slaving vessels.

1807 Abolition in Prussia (Germany) The Stein-Hardenberg Reforms.

1808 USA abolishes transatlantic slave trade

1811 Slave trading made a felony in the British Empire punishable by transportation for British subjects and Foreigners.

1811 Spain abolishes slavery of African slaves at home and in all colonies except Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Santo Domingo

1814 Dutch outlaw slave trade

1815 British pay Portuguese £750,000 to cease their trade

1817 Spain paid £400,000 by British to cease trade to Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Santo Domingo

1815 Congress of Vienna. 8 Victorious powers declared their opposition to slavery

1818 France and Holland abolish slave trading

1821 Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela abolish slavery

1821 Liberia founded by USA as state for emancipated slaves.

1823 Chile abolishes slavery

1829 Mexico abolishes slavery

1833 Slavery abolished throughout the British empire (about a third of world's population)(Bill for "Total Abolition of Colonial Slavery")

1843 Sweden abolishes slavery

1847 Denmark abolishes slavery

1848 France abolishes slavery

1848 France founds Gabon for settlement of emancipated slaves.

1861 Russia frees its population. (most of the population were slaves)

1862 Treaty between USA and Great Britain for the suppression of the slave trade.

1863 Slavery abolished in Dutch colonies

1865 USA abolishes slavery (The Thirteenth Amendment)

1886 Cuba abolishes slavery

1888 Brazil abolishes slavery

1890 Brussels Act - Treaty granting anti-slavery powers the right to stop and search ships for slaves

1924 League of Nations Temporary Slavery Commission

1926 Slavery Convention. Bound all signatories to end slavery CONVENTION TO SUPPRESS THE SLAVE TRADE AND SLAVERY (25 Sep 1926)

1948 UN Declaration of Human Rights bans slavery globally

1963 Saudi Arabia and Gulf States abolish slavery

Reasons for Slavery Being Abolished


At the forefront of the Age of Enlightenment, slavery's extinction coincides with the new concept of equality, influenced by the American, French and the Bolshevik revolutions. The idea of the working class being equal to the upper class was an idea that the working class endorsed, and considering the working class was over 90% of the population, it was the decision of the majority. With the addition of working class representatives in British parliament, labor laws were soon enforced. Britain's position of a colonial superpower likely influenced smaller countries' position on the matter.