Atlantic Slave Trade - Abolitionist arguments

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Atlantic Slave Trade - Abolitionist arguments

  1. 1. Many people in Britain and elsewhere were opposed to the slave trade, for lots of different reasons. Over the years they campaigned against the trade, using many different methods to do so.
  2. 2. The case of the slave ship Zong inspired many to campaign against slavery. The ship’s captain threw more than 100 slaves into the sea so he could claim insurance money on them. The publicity this caused made people aware of slavery.
  3. 3. There were many different arguments used against the slave trade. These focused on moral and economic arguments and helped the campaign win many supporters.
  4. 4. Moral arguments Abolitionists argued that it was completely wrong to own and control another human being. Religious groups opposed the trade on the grounds that it was against God’s will.
  5. 5. Other people argued that the slave trade caused wars in Africa, making Britain responsible for this. Others said that the cruel conditions of slavery and the Middle Passage meant the trade should be abolished.
  6. 6. Economic arguments Others preferred to focus on economic arguments, hoping to persuade people this way. One point argued was that the slave trade cost jobs in Britain, as slaves were doing work which Britons should be paid for.
  7. 7. Others (such as Adam Smith) said slavery was more expensive than paying people, because slaves worked less well. Some said that as Britain had better trade with other parts of the world it was possible to get goods from elsewhere at a cheaper price.

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