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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:British slave emancipation and 'free' labour recruitment from West Africa, 1840-1861
Author:Asiegbu, J.U.J.
Periodical:Sierra Leone Studies
Geographic terms:West Africa
Great Britain
Subjects:abolition of slavery
contract labour
Abstract:A serious gap exists in the knowledge of the real significance of the absence of cooperation among the European powers - its causes, origins and nature - that made international abolition of the Atlantic slave trade so unsuccessful, while the trade itself grew and flourished after its legal abolition by Britain and other European nations. The British Act of Emancipation in 1834 and the compensation of 20,000,000 to the slave owners by the British Government represented a unique event in the history of the British anti-slavery movement since 1807. Yet, it was precisely at this time that the good faith of British policy was severely tested by the scheme of 'free' labour recruitment from West Africa. Because it appeared to perpetuate the slave trade in a new guise, the British scheme for 'free' labour recruitment supplied a powerful argument for other European powers to tolerate if not encourage the continuance of the slave traffic by their own nationals. Ref.