Abolitionists and the Scramble for Africa

JoanOfArc007

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
3,889
USA
The following articles provides a few examples of the many European Christians whom promoted the abolition of slavery in Africa in the 19th century.


One of the chief justifications for this so-called 'scramble for Africa' was a desire to stamp out slavery once and for all. Shortly before his death in May 1873 at Ilala in central Africa, the celebrated missionary-explorer David Livingstone had called for a worldwide crusade to defeat the slave trade controlled by Arabs in East Africa, that was laying waste the heart of the continent.


The only way to liberate Africa, believed Livingstone, was to introduce the 'three Cs': commerce, Christianity and civilisation.

BBC - History - British History in depth: Slavery and the 'Scramble for Africa'


Slavery abolition

Main article: Slavery in Africa § Abolition
The continuing anti-slavery movement in Europe became a reason and an excuse for the conquest and colonization of the Africa. It was the central theme of the Brussels Anti-Slavery Conference 1889-90. During the Scramble for Africa, an early but secondary focus of all colonial regimes was the suppression of slavery and the slave trade. In French West Africa, following conquest and abolition by the French, over a million slaves fled from their masters to earlier homes between 1906 and 1911. In Madagascar, the French abolished slavery in 1896 and approximately 500,000 slaves were freed. Slavery was abolished in the French controlled Sahel by 1911. Independent nations attempting to westernize or impress Europe sometimes cultivated an image of slavery suppression. In response to European pressure, the Sokoto Caliphate abolished slavery in 1900 and Ethiopia officially abolished slavery in 1932. Colonial powers were mostly successful in abolishing slavery, though slavery remained active in Africa even though it has gradually moved to a wage economy. Slavery was never fully eradicated in Africa.[50][51][52][53]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scramble_for_Africa#Slavery_abolition

It is also true that Ottoman Turks and Arabs were involved in the abolition movement in the 19th century as well. Clearly men and women worldwide in the 19th century for varying reasons were calling for an end to slavery worldwide.
 
Aug 2012
1,554
I must confess to being a little confused by their rationale. So they understood slavery was a moral evil, and that slaves were humans with intrinsic rights - but they still wanted to "civilise" them, rather than just leaving them be?
 

Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
4,577
Dispargum
Oh yes, leave it to a 19th century European or American to think that civilization was their gift to the world.
 
Sep 2012
1,140
Tarkington, Texas
Not every European country was kind and benevolent. The Belgians ran the Congo like it was their King's private property. It was pretty bad until the 20th Century. Many African Muslims practiced Slavery. Last I heard Arabs were still enslaving Christians and Animists and marching them to the Slave Markets in the Sudan. Find out how many Blacks were brought to Saudi Arabia and were kept as Slaves.


A friend of mine (Black) was teaching Welding in SA. He told me about someone from Saudi offered him $10,000 for one of his daughters. He was smart enough to make it sound like he would marry her. I made it a joke by saying he should wait for a better offer! I had the privilege of coaching three of his daughters in Recreation Softball. They outperformed many girls taken before them.


How do people know if Slavery in the Kingdom is gone? They will lie to cover it up.



Pruitt
 

Edric Streona

Ad Honorem
Feb 2016
4,513
Japan
Not every European country was kind and benevolent. The Belgians ran the Congo like it was their King's private property. It was pretty bad until the 20th Century. Many African Muslims practiced Slavery. Last I heard Arabs were still enslaving Christians and Animists and marching them to the Slave Markets in the Sudan. Find out how many Blacks were brought to Saudi Arabia and were kept as Slaves.


A friend of mine (Black) was teaching Welding in SA. He told me about someone from Saudi offered him $10,000 for one of his daughters. He was smart enough to make it sound like he would marry her. I made it a joke by saying he should wait for a better offer! I had the privilege of coaching three of his daughters in Recreation Softball. They outperformed many girls taken before them.


How do people know if Slavery in the Kingdom is gone? They will lie to cover it up.



Pruitt
The Congo WAS the private property of the king. Belgian government had little to do with it.
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
5,162
Sydney
.
The Europe and North American ethos was one benevolent concern ,

since they were by their own reckoning blessed with advanced civilization ,

it was their duty (burden) to reach out and raise the benighted races toward their level
one of the roots of this idea was the evangelizing duty of Christians

the Spanish crown was quite explicit it was their justification toward their American possessions



While it seems laughable nowadays , it was a very serious and widespread attitude



not to sound narky but , that's a common trait with substantial remain up to this day
 

Kevinmeath

Ad Honoris
May 2011
14,062
Navan, Ireland
I must confess to being a little confused by their rationale. So they understood slavery was a moral evil, and that slaves were humans with intrinsic rights - but they still wanted to "civilise" them, rather than just leaving them be?
And how are you supposed to stop slavery?

If you 'just leave them be' then slavery continues, there is a market for slaves in the New World and the 'Middle East' as well as Africa its self.

Slaver will meet this demand-- how are you going to stop it? force other countries to accept your moral view of the world, what if they don't and continue to happily (and profitably) slave? invade -- attack and take their perfectly 'legal' ships on the high seas ,that's an act of war isn't it?

You are going to steal the merchants good on the high seas-- that's piracy-- can they take you to court for theft?

What are you going to do with the slaves you liberate? send them back to be enslaved again?

If you do stop cities such as Zanzibar trading in slaves-- its economy is in ruins, poverty and hardship are going to be the norm-- you caused it by removing the 'age old trade' what are you going to do about it? help them enter the 'modern world'? how?
 
May 2018
424
Ramgarh
I must confess to being a little confused by their rationale. So they understood slavery was a moral evil, and that slaves were humans with intrinsic rights - but they still wanted to "civilise" them, rather than just leaving them be?
It's ironic when countries that were civilized for thousands of years need to be "civilized" by countries that were civilized for hundreds of years.

And Africa's minerals were a much bigger draw for European conquerors than any moral mission. Gold, diamonds, iron, copper, etc are found abundantly in Africa. Along with land which was more fertile than Europe's.

And the slave trade was very profitable for European countries. Those who compare it to Arab slave trading forget that slaves attained high positions in the Muslim world, including ruling dynasties like the Mamelukes. No such luck for them in the Americas.
 

Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
4,577
Dispargum
For an example of Europeans trying to supress the slave trade, try Charles Gordon's experiences in Sudan in the 1870s and 1880s.
 
Nov 2008
1,414
England
It's ironic when countries that were civilized for thousands of years need to be "civilized" by countries that were civilized for hundreds of years.

And Africa's minerals were a much bigger draw for European conquerors than any moral mission. Gold, diamonds, iron, copper, etc are found abundantly in Africa. Along with land which was more fertile than Europe's.

And the slave trade was very profitable for European countries. Those who compare it to Arab slave trading forget that slaves attained high positions in the Muslim world, including ruling dynasties like the Mamelukes. No such luck for them in the Americas.
Actually, ex slaves could and did attain high positions in the Roman Empire.