the friend online
23 March 2007

The politics of abolition - preview

Michael Bartlet, parliamentary liaison secretary at BYM, explores the past and present reality of slavery

The Abolition of the Slave Trade Act passed on 25 March 1807 ended the slave trade in the British colonies, making it illegal for British ships to carry slaves
  • It illustrates the power political vision has to change the lives of people

  • The movement for abolition touched the hearts and minds of all
  • It was infused by the moral imagination and energy of a struggle for freedom, as momentous and heroic as the story of Exodus that informed the songs and dreams of emancipation of US slaves
  • The abolitionists developed a campaigning style which seems wholly contemporary: they introduced the wearing of cameos, the forerunners of our badges; the use of mottos on clothing and crockery, our present day slogans and wrist bracelets; and mass-produced posters, most strikingly of the slave ship Brookes (pictured above)
  • There were boycotts of slave-produced sugar and careful coordination of a sustained political campaign

  • Michael Bartlet & Clare-Marie White

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    The politics of abolition
    Michael Bartlet & Clare-Marie White
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