The British Slave Trade and the Fight for Abolition





The British Slave Trade and the Fight for Abolition
Anthony Ambrosius Aurelius

“Slaves were not traded in the British slave trade as a commodity worth a singular value, rather slaves were auctioned like modern day commodities (e.g. gold, oil, copper etc.) with variable cost models established, having healthy slaves with skills and trades cost more than unhealthy, older slaves, with no discernible work skills. The highest valued slaves were young men in the prime of their working ability.

George Hibbert, the leader of the lobby for the defense of slavery, thought of in a modern context is a political spin expert, campaigned in favor of pro-slavery upon the platform of the benevolent, paternal, Christian slave owners who had invested life fortunes into slave ownership and plantations, in an effort not to enrich themselves, but to spread Christianity and modern civilization to impoverished, African states.

Enslaved people were consistently represented as savage, uncivilized, brutal, childlike individuals who required western discipline and education to thrive.

In the summer of 1823, rumors of abolition began being discussed in London, England, reached Guyana, one of Britain’s colony outposts. Slaves within Guyana upon plantations, threw all their efforts into a coup d’état and on August 18, 1823, 10,000 slaves torched the sugar cane fields of the local plantations, seized dozens of plantation grounds, and imprisoned slave owners in their own homes, yet remaining a largely peaceful, non-violent, and well organized protest. The reaction of British people who had invested in Guyana was swift, with a slave owner militia being assembled to counteract this insurgency. Armed with muskets, this group easily tore through the hordes of slaves who had nothing more than their bare hands and tools used in the sugar cane fields. 250 rebel slaves were killed, with the heads of the group being executed or deported. The dismembered bodies of those hanged, were left hanging permanently as a deterrent for future insubordination and disobedience.

In Britain, supporters of the slave trade increased propaganda proliferation, using a series public letters published by John Gladstone to deny responsibility of slave owners in respect to the”

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