The abolition of slave trade was the movement to stop the sale and purchase of human beings as commodities.


The first country to campaign for the abolition of slave trade was Britain


1.1.1. The reasons for the abolition of slave trade in Africa.


The British Industrial Revolution.


This was discovery of industries in 1750’s in Britain. Slave labour was not useful since there were Machines that would do the work which was done by slaves. Industries needed raw material and markets for selling products.


Humanitarians’ reasons.


These were people who argued that slave trade was inhuman. It caused too much sufferings and misery to the people. Example of these persons William Wilberforce


  • Granville Sharp
  • Thomas Clarkson
  • James Stephen


Evangelical or Religious reason.

People belongs to church argued that slave trade was against God who had created men to treat themselves equally to each other, it had to be stopped because it was a sin before God.


American independence in 1776.


When American got independence in 1776 from the British; America declared that slave trade and slavery was illegal in America.


The sugar competition between the British and the French


-The British produced sugar in island such as Cuba and Jamaica and sold the sugar at higher price.


-The French produced sugar at Mauritius and Reunion using slave labour and sold it cheaply. NB. The British lost market and decided to abolish slave trade.

The French Revolution in 1789.


The revolution inspired the people in the world to campaign against slave trade because it insisted on human rights and believed in liberty, equality and fraternity among the people in France.



Realm of literature and philosophy during the 18th century.


Europe had realm of literature and philosophy which put emphasis on equality, Brotherhood and liberty.


Slave trade was condemned by philosophers such as Jean Jacques Rousseau and Adam smith.


Literature written by -Samuel Johnson


-Daniel Defoe


  • Also opposed slave trade.
  • Reaction of slaves against their masters



1.1.2. Methods/ tactics/ Techniques/ ways used in abolition of slave Trade in Africa.


  1. Development of the British naval patrol in Atlantic and Indian Ocean to block all slave


  1. The British made laws which stopped slavery in



  1. The British made some Africans as informers on the movements of slave



  1. Signing treaties with local rulers whom their people participated in slave


  1. Led to colonization of African



1.1.3. The effects of the Abolition of Slave Trade. Economic effects:


  • The rise of legitimate trade (trade of raw materials such as clothes, guns, ivory, rubber, groundnuts and cotton)


  • Rise of European trading companies e. IBEACO, GEACO, Royal Niger Companies. Social effects


  • The increase in the coming of Europeans especially Missionaries. Political effects


  • The founding of new states as areas for settling ex- slaves Ex-slaves colonies – Sierra Leone and Liberia
  • Development of states e. Itsekin, Calabar and Bonny.


  • Fall of states e. Dahomey, Benin, and Oyo.


  • Ruling power of slave owners /traders










The British signed treaties with Sultan of Zanzibar as follows.


1.2.1. The MORESBY treaty of 1822:


-Was signed between Captain Moresby and Sultan of Oman Seyyid Said.


NB: The treaty prevent Sultan from selling slave outside his dominion. It did not allow slaves to be sold in Indian, Arabia, Persia and French Island like Reunion.


1.2.2. The HAMERTON treaty of 1845:


Was signed between the British counselor Hamerton and Sultan Seyyid Said.


NB; The treaty limited slave trade to Seyyid Said’s East African areas. It prevented slaves from being sold north of Brava.


1.2.3. 3rd The FRERE treaty of 1873:


Zanzibar slave market was down closed in 1873; it was a treaty between Bartle Frere and Sultan Barghash to end slave trade.


NB: later the British sent Sir. John Kirk to stop slave trade.


1.3. The delay in the abolition of slave trade


It took longer period to stop slave trade because of the following;


  • Britain was the only country campaigned against slave


  • Those who campaigned for the abolition faced opposition from African chiefs who depended on slave trade e.g.


  • Mirambo of Tabora


  • Kabaka Mutesa of Buganda


  • Glele of


  • Many of the abolition lists died of tropical disease i.e.


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