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The Abolition Act And The Development Of Abolitionist Movements In 19th Century Europe

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Chapter Summary

An unprecedented wave of humanitarian reform sentiment swept through the societies of Western Europe, England, and North America in the hundred years following 1750. Among the movements spawned by this new sensibility, the most spectacular was that to abolish slavery. Slavery was an important topic in late-18th century European philosophical and anthropological as well as juridical and political debates. However, there was by no means a clear development towards its unanimous de-legitimization. The British government as well as British non-governmental abolition activists used the platform of the Vienna peace conference to extend their abolitionist policies, and win over other European powers to reject the slave trade. A well-known German political activist leaving the country for the United States after taking part in revolutionary attempts in the 1830s was Karl Follen.

Keywords: abolitionist movements; British non- governmental abolition activists; Europe; slave trade



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