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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.
In 1652, Jan van Riebeeck set up a refreshment station for ships bound to the Dutch East Indies in what is now Cape Town and requested slaves.The first slave, Abraham van Batavia arrived in 1653 ("van Batavia" meaning "from Batavia", the name of Jakarta during the Dutch colonial period), and shortly afterward, a slaving voyage was undertaken from the Cape to Mauritius and Madagascar. Eventually, van Riebeeck forcibly enslaved Africans for work in the Cape Colony.
In April 1657, there were ten slaves in the settlement, from a population of 144. That increased greatly the next year, when the Dutch captured a Portuguese slaver with 500 Angolan slaves, and 250 were taken to the Cape.Two months later, a further 228 slaves arrived from Guinea. The process was enhanced when settler colonialism commenced when former Dutch East India Company officials were granted land lots. The agricultural settlements of the Boers economically dislocated the pastoral Khoikhoi in Table Bay, who were forced to serve as servants due to their loss of grazing land. The Dutch colonists additionally imported slaves from Portuguese Mozambique, French Madagascar, and Dutch India. Slaves in the Dutch colonies were given poor food, subject to poor living conditions, and punished with whipping for fleeing or disobeying orders.
Threats to Dutch control of the Cape Colony had emerged in the 18th century, when the Dutch East India Company was weakened during the Fourth Anglo-Dutch War. During the 1780s, troops of the French Royal Army were stationed in the Cape to prevent invasion by Great Britain. The Cape was invaded by the British in 1795 during the War of the First Coalition, and occupied until 1803.
Britain later formally annexed the Cape and later passed the Slave Trade Act 1807. It was enforced from 1808, ending the external slave trade. Slaves were permitted to be traded only within the colony.At the same time, Parliament passed a series of acts known as the amelioration laws designed to provide better living conditions for slaves. These acts allowed slaves to marry, purchase their own freedom, live with their families, and receive a basic education. The acts also limited punishments and work hours, and encouraged missionaries to convert Africans to Christianity.
The first large wave of British settlers, the 1820 Settlers, were not permitted to own slaves.
In 1833, the Slavery Abolition Act received Royal Assent from King William IV; this paved the way for the abolition of slavery within the British Empire and its colonies. It was reported that there were 38,427 slaves in the Cape of Good Hope in 1833, many fewer than in Jamaica, Barbados or Mauritius, though higher than the reported numbers in other British colonies.
On 1 August 1834, all slaves in the British Empire were emancipated, but they were indentured to their former owners in an apprenticeship system which was abolished in two stages; the first set of apprenticeships came to an end on 1 August 1838, while the final apprenticeships were scheduled to cease on 1 August 1840, six years after the official emancipation.
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.
Johan Anthoniszoon "Jan" van Riebeeck was a Dutch navigator and colonial administrator who located Cape Town and the Dutch Cape Colony of the Dutch East India Company.
The emancipation of the British West Indies refers to the abolition of slavery in Britain's colonies in the West Indies during the 1830s. The British government passed the Slavery Abolition Act in 1833, which emancipated all slaves in the British West Indies. After emancipation, a system of apprenticeship was established, where emancipated slaves were required by the various colonial assemblies to continue working for their former masters for a period of four to six years in exchange for provisions. The system of apprenticeship was abolished by the various colonial assemblies in 1838, after pressure from the British public, completing the process of emancipation.
Emancipation Day is observed in many former European colonies in the Caribbean and areas of the United States on various dates to commemorate the emancipation of slaves of African descent.
The coastwise slave trade existed along the eastern coastal areas of the United States in the antebellum years prior to 1861. Shiploads and boatloads of slaves in the domestic trade were transported from place to place on the waterways. Hundreds of vessels of various sizes and capacities were used to transport the slaves, generally from markets of the Upper South, where there was a surplus of slaves, to the Deep South, where the development of new cotton plantations created high demand for labor.
The Slavery Abolition Act 1833 abolished slavery in parts of the British Empire. This Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom expanded the jurisdiction of the Slave Trade Act 1807 and made the purchase or ownership of slaves illegal within the British Empire, with the exception of "the Territories in the Possession of the East India Company", Ceylon, and Saint Helena. The Act was repealed in 1997 as a part of wider rationalisation of English statute law; however, later anti-slavery legislation remains in force.
Jan van Riebeeck landed at the Cape on 6 April 1652, setting up a supply station and fortifications for the Dutch East India Company. The decade saw the beginning of European settlement, marked by the introduction of crops from Europe and the New World and culminating in war with the Khoikhoi in 1659.
Slavery in the British and French Caribbean refers to slavery in the parts of the Caribbean dominated by France or the British Empire.
The area known today as Cape Town has no written history before it was first mentioned by Portuguese explorer Bartholomeu Dias in 1488. The German anthropologist Theophilus Hahn recorded that the original name of the area was '||Hui !Gais' – a toponym in the indigenous Khoe language meaning "where clouds gather."
The Liberated Africans of Sierra Leone were illegally enslaved Africans rescued from slave ships intercepted by anti-slaving patrols in the Atlantic Ocean and near coastal trading stations on the African Coast after 1808. Born and enslaved throughout West and West Central Africa, the rescued Africans were liberated by British naval courts or bilateral tribunals established in Freetown, capital of the Sierra Leone Colony and Protectorate. Following liberation, most liberated Africans were then consigned to a variety of unfree labor apprenticeships in Freetown and the interior. Some Africans liberated in Freetown were later resettled as agriculturalists or colonial militiamen in British colonies in Guyana and the West Indies. Approximately 3,000 were forcibly migrated to British settlements along the Gambia River. Smaller numbers were settled in Liberia, a colony established by the United States.
The Slave Compensation Act 1837 was an Act of Parliament in the United Kingdom, signed into law on 23 December 1837. It authorized the Commissioners for the Reduction of the National Debt to compensate slave owners in the British colonies of the Caribbean, Mauritius, and the Cape of Good Hope in the amount of approximately £20 million for freed slaves. Based on a government census of 1 August 1834, over 40,000 awards to slave owners were issued. Since some of the payments were converted into 3.5% government annuities, they lasted until 2015.
The Society for Effecting the Abolition of the Slave Trade, also known as the Society for the Abolition of the Slave Trade, and sometimes referred to as the Abolition Society or Anti-Slavery Society, was a British abolitionist group formed on 22 May 1787.
In common with most Caribbean countries, slavery in the British Virgin Islands forms a major part of the history of the Territory. One commentator has gone so far as to say: "One of the most important aspects of the History of the British Virgin Islands is slavery."
Early sources suggest that slavery was likely to have been a widespread institution in ancient India by the lifetime of the Buddha, and perhaps even as far back as the Vedic period. However, its study in ancient times is problematic and contested because it depends on the translations of terms such as dasa and dasyu.
Nigel Worden is a British/South African historian who has researched the history of Cape slavery and the social and cultural history of early colonial Cape Town. He is Emeritus Professor of History and retired from the Historical Studies department at the University of Cape Town, South Africa in 2016. He graduated from Jesus College Cambridge and was subsequently Research Fellow at Clare Hall, University of Cambridge and Lecturer in Commonwealth History at the University of Edinburgh. He holds MA and PhD degrees in History from the University of Cambridge and BA degrees in Art History and Linguistics from the University of South Africa.
The Cape Colony was a Dutch United East India Company (VOC) Colony in Southern Africa, centered on the Cape of Good Hope, where it derived its name from. The original colony and its successive states that the colony was incorporated into occupied much of modern South Africa. Between 1652 and 1691 a Commandment, and between 1691 and 1795 a Governorate of the United East India Company (VOC). Jan van Riebeeck established the colony as a re-supply and layover port for vessels of the VOC trading with Asia. The Cape came under VOC rule from 1652 to 1795 and again from 1803 to 1806. Much to the dismay of the shareholders of the VOC, who focused primarily on making profits from the Asian trade, the colony rapidly expanded into a Settler Colony in the years after its founding.
The Slave Route Project is a UNESCO initiative that was officially launched in 1994 in Ouidah, Benin. It is rooted in the mandate of the organization, which believes that ignorance or concealment of major historical events constitutes an obstacle to mutual understanding, reconciliation and cooperation among peoples. The project breaks the silence surrounding the slave trade and slavery that has affected all continents and caused great upheavals that have shaped our modern societies. In studying the causes, the modalities and the consequences of slavery and the slave trade, the project seeks to enhance the understanding of diverse histories and heritages stemming from this global tragedy.
De Zuid-Afrikaan was a nineteenth-century Dutch language newspaper based in Cape Town that circulated throughout the Cape Colony, published between 1830 and 1930.
Abolitionism in the United Kingdom was the movement in the late 18th and early 19th centuries to end the practice of slavery, whether formal or informal, in the United Kingdom, the British Empire and the world, including ending the Atlantic slave trade. It was part of a wider abolitionism movement in Western Europe and the Americas.
The Hottentot Proclamation, also known as the Hottentot Code, the Caledon Proclamation, or the Caledon Code, was the first of a series of laws that sought to restrict the rights of the Khoikhoi in Cape Colony. The decree was passed on 1 November 1809 by the Earl of Caledon as part of the longstanding process to enslave the indigenous KhoiKhoi people on their own land. It was established to help Afrikaner farmers control the mobility of the labour force. "Hottentot" was the term used then for the Khoikhoi people.
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