Disapproving of the slave trade was one thing; actively campaigning for its abolition was something different, while the passing and implementing of laws providing for its termination was something else again. People could have gone on disapproving of the slave trade for ever. What changed the situation was the awakening of the Evangelical conscience. — Howard Temperley, “March of the Saints,” TLS (17 August 2007): 8.

Britain's behaviour [in suppressing slavery and the slave trade] is particularly hard to account for. As Davis points out, the British are not thought of as having been particularly humane in other respects, including the treatment of their own working classes. . . It would appear that Britain's interests would have been best served by expanding the slave trade. . . . Instead of seeking to suppress the save trade, it could have dominated it, and in the process outproduced Cuba and Brazil, increased its own wealth, and contributed to the economic growth of the Americas. . . . In his History of European morals from Augustus to Charlemagne (1869), W. E. H. Lecky describes England's crusade against slavery as “among the three or four perfectly virtuous acts recorded in the history of nations.” . . . Davis believes that Lecky was basically right. — Howard Temperley, “Not so very free” TLS (23 June 2006): 25.

The Anti-Slavery Campaign

The Anti-Slavery Campaign — the Visual Arts and Literature

Suppressing the Slave Trade

Hostility to the Anti-Slavery campaigns, before and afterwards


Created 13 December 2010; last modified 24 November 2016