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ERIC Number: EJ758932
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Mar
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0955-2308
Breaking the Chains
Stanistreet, Paul
Adults Learning, v18 n7 p28-31 Mar 2007
In 1792 more than 350,000 people in Britain signed a petition calling for an end to the slave trade. It was, writes historian Adam Hochschild in his book "Bury the Chains," "the first time in history that a large number of people became outraged, and stayed outraged for many years, over someone else's rights". In 1807--after 15 years of obstruction by the House of Lords--Parliament finally passed a bill abolishing a trade which, at its peak, saw 80,000 slaves trafficked from Africa to the New World each year. The trade, as is well known, was appallingly cruel. Men, women and children, marched mercilessly from their villages to ports hundreds of miles away, would be crammed into the holds of slave ships, where they might remain for months on end. Many would die of smallpox or dysentery before reaching land. Those who survived spent the remainder of their unnaturally short lives in bondage, vital cogs in a global economy that relied on forced labour. In this article, the author reports on mass political actions that helped abolish the slave trade in the British colonies. The movement involved thousands of ordinary people--most of them denied the right to vote--in the first-ever mass human rights campaign. Campaigning tools and tactics used by the campaigners, everything from posters and merchandising to book tours, parliamentary lobbying and consumer boycotts, are also reported.
National Institute of Adult Continuing Education. Renaissance House, 20 Princess Road West, Leicester, LE1 6TP, UK. Tel: +44-1162-044200; Fax: +44-1162-044262; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Africa; United Kingdom (Great Britain)