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The Danish slave trade occurred separately in two different periods: the trade in European slaves during the Viking Age, from the 8th to 10th century; and the Danish role in selling African slaves during the Atlantic slave trade, from the 1600s until a 1792 law to abolish the trade came into effect on 1 January 1803. Slavery continued in the Danish West Indies until July, 1848, when all unfree people in Danish lands were emancipated.
During the Viking Age, thralls (Norse slaves) were an important part of the economy and one of the main reasons for the raids on England where slaves were captured. This practice was largely abolished once Denmark became Christian in the 10th century.[ citation needed ]
Trading African slaves was part of the transatlantic slave trade by Denmark-Norway around 1671, when the Danish West India Company was chartered until 1 January 1803 when the 1792 law to abolish the slave trade came into effect.However, an illegal trade in enslaved Africans continued.
Slavery in the Danish West Indies continued until 3 July 1848 when slaves gathered at Frederiksted and demanded their freedom. Fearing a revolt Danish Governor Peter von Scholten issued a proclamation that "all unfree in the Danish West Indies are from today emancipated."
As of 1778, it was estimated annually Dano-Norwegians shipped approximately 3,000 African slaves to the Danish West Indies.During the 1720s, many of these African slaves were sourced from the Akan-region Akwamu, Ga-Adangbe in present-day Ghana, with a large number taken to the island of St Jan (now Saint John in the U.S. Virgin Islands), rebelling in 1733 and attempting to found an Akwamu-led nation, including one of its leaders Breffu. The country's ships transported approximately 100,000 African slaves, about 2% of the total number in the early 19th century.
Abolitionism, or the abolitionist movement, was the movement to end slavery. In Western Europe and the Americas, abolitionism was a historic movement that sought to end the Atlantic slave trade and liberate the enslaved people.
The Danish West Indies or Danish Antilles or Danish Virgin Islands was a Danish colony in the Caribbean, consisting of the islands of Saint Thomas with 32 square miles (83 km2); Saint John with 19 square miles (49 km2); and Saint Croix with 84 square miles (220 km2). The islands have belonged to the United States since they were purchased in 1917. Water Island was part of the Danish West Indies until 1905 when the Danish state sold it to the East Asiatic Company, a private shipping company.
The Atlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, or Euro-American slave trade involved the transportation by slave traders of various enslaved African people, mainly to the Americas. The slave trade regularly used the triangular trade route and its Middle Passage, and existed from the 16th to the 19th centuries. The vast majority of those who were enslaved and transported in the transatlantic slave trade were people from Central and West Africa, who had been sold by other West Africans, or by half-European "merchant princes" to Western European slave traders, who brought them to the Americas. Except for the Portuguese, European slave traders generally did not participate in the raids because life expectancy for Europeans in sub-Saharan Africa was less than one year during the period of the slave trade. The South Atlantic and Caribbean economies were particularly dependent on labour for the production of sugarcane and other commodities. This was viewed as crucial by those Western European states that, in the late 17th and 18th centuries, were vying with each other to create overseas empires.
Denmark and the former political union of Denmark–Norway had a colonial empire from the 17th through the 20th centuries, large portions of which were found in the Americas. Denmark and Norway in one form or another also maintained land claims in Greenland since the 13th century.
A slave rebellion is an armed uprising by enslaved people, as a way of fighting for their freedom. Rebellions of enslaved people have occurred in nearly all societies that practice slavery or have practiced slavery in the past. A desire for freedom and the dream of successful rebellion is often the greatest object of song, art, and culture amongst the enslaved population. Many of the events, however, are often violently opposed and suppressed by slaveholders.
The Swedish slave trade mainly occurred in the early history of Sweden when the trade of thralls was one of the pillars of the Norse economy. During the raids, the Vikings often captured and enslaved militarily weaker peoples they encountered, but took the most slaves in raids of the British Isles, Ireland and Slavs in Eastern Europe. This practice lasted in the 6th through 11th centuries until formally abolished in 1335. A smaller trade of African slaves happened during the 17th and 18th centuries, around the time Swedish overseas colonies were established in North America (1638) and in Africa (1650). It remained legal until 1813.
Danish overseas colonies and Dano-Norwegian colonies were the colonies that Denmark–Norway possessed from 1536 until 1953. At its apex the colonies spanned four continents: Europe, North America, Africa and Asia.
A thrall was a slave or serf in Scandinavian lands during the Viking Age. The corresponding term in Old English was þēow. The status of slave contrasts with that of the freeman and the nobleman. The Middle Latin rendition of the term in early Germanic law is servus.
The Danish West India Company or Danish West India–Guinea Company was a Dano-Norwegian chartered company that operated out of the colonies in the Danish West Indies.
Slavery in the British and French Caribbean refers to slavery in the parts of the Caribbean dominated by France or the British Empire.
The United States Virgin Islands, often abbreviated USVI, is a group of islands and cays in the Caribbean to the east of Puerto Rico. Consisting of three larger islands plus fifty smaller islets and cays, it covers approximately 133 square miles (340 km2). Like many of its Caribbean neighbors, its history includes native Amerindian cultures, European exploration followed by subsequent colonization and exploitation, and the enslavement of Africans.
Peter Carl Frederik von Scholten was Governor-General of the Danish West Indies from 1827 to 1848.
The Danish Gold Coast comprised the colonies that Denmark–Norway controlled in Africa as a part of the Gold Coast, which is on the Gulf of Guinea. It was colonized by the Dano-Norwegian fleet, first under indirect rule by the Danish West India Company, later as a crown colony of the kingdom of Denmark-Norway.
The history of slavery spans many cultures, nationalities, and religions from ancient times to the present day. However, the social, economic, and legal positions of slaves have differed vastly in different systems of slavery in different times and places.
The 1733 slave insurrection on St. John in the Danish West Indies started on November 23, 1733, when 150 African slaves from Akwamu, in present-day Ghana, revolted against the owners and managers of the island's plantations. Lasting several months into August 1734, the slave rebellion was one of the earliest and longest slave revolts in the Americas. The Akwamu slaves captured the fort in Coral Bay and took control of most of the island. They intended to resume crop production under their own control and use Africans of other tribes as slave labor.
Sugar production in the United States Virgin Islands was an important part of the Economy of the United States Virgin Islands for over two hundred years. Long before the islands became part of the United States in 1917, the islands, particular the island of Saint Croix, was exploited by the Danish from the early 18th century and by 1800 over 30,000 acres were under cultivation, earning Saint Croix a reputation as "The Garden of the West Indies". Since the closing of the last sugar factory on Saint Croix in 1966, the industry has become only a memory.
Slavery in Southern Africa existed until the abolition of slavery in the Cape Colony on 1 January 1834. This followed the British banning the trade of slaves between colonies in 1807 with their emancipation by 1834.
William Fox was a radical abolitionist pamphleteer in late 18th-century Britain. Between 1773 and 1794 he ran a bookshop at 128 Holborn Hill in London; from 1782 he was in a business arrangement with the Particular Baptist Martha Gurney, who printed and sold his and others' pamphlets.
Vigilant was a Baltimore schooner, possibly originally launched in 1794 as Nonsuch. She appeared in the Danish West Indies as Vigilant from 1824. She carried the mail and passenger traffic between St. Croix and St. Thomas in the 19th and the first decade of the 20th century. A storm sank Vigilant on 12 September 1928.
Kongen af Assianthe was launched in Sweden in 1797.