last country to abolish slavery in Europe

Mar 2014
8,881
Canterbury
#12
The last European country to abolish slavery on its soil was Wallachia, in 1856.

The last European country to abolish slavery within any part of its empire was Britain, in its autonomous division of Northern Nigeria in 1936, though oddly Britain was among the first to abolish and end the trans-Atlantic slave trade and slavery on its soil, in 1833 and 1772.
 
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Mar 2014
8,881
Canterbury
#14
I do remember to hear on quiz and do rememer to read that Uncle Tom influenced Moldavia to abolish slavery and that was last European state to abolish slavery
Britain was heavily into global anti-slavery campaigns in the mid-1800s. I'm not sure if it had much sway in Wallachia, though.
 
Dec 2011
1,013
Hertfordshire
#15
Hello. What was the last country to abolish slavery in Europe (I mean to abolish slavery in its particular country, not in its colony)?

I have found:
Timelines

Abolition of slavery timeline - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


which are good links, but without exact reply. It could be Holland according to the first link, but there is no date.

I have also noticed the the european countries they first were suppresing slave trade, then abolishing slavery in its colonies then finaly abolishing slavery in their own countries.

EDIT: I am not talking about serfdom, but about slavery
From one of your links....

"1772: Somersett's case held that no slave could be forcibly removed from Britain. This case was generally taken at the time to have decided that the condition of slavery did not exist under English law in England and Wales, and emancipated the remaining ten to fourteen thousand slaves or possible slaves in England and Wales, who were mostly domestic servants."

This is fiction, a result of revisionist history. Mansfield's ruling in 1772 was not taken at the time to have decided that slavery did not exist in England. In fact, Mansfield clarified this ruling in later cases to confirm that slavery did still exist in England. When Mansfield himself died towards the end of the century, he inserted a clause that gave his grand-niece and slave, Dido, her freedom. That movie "Belle" also bought into this fiction....

"Despite Lord Mansfield's ruling, slave owners continued recapturing their runaway slaves and shipping them back to the colonies. Numerous newspaper advertisements of the time show that Black slaves were still being bought and sold in England. A few years later, in 1785, Mansfield himself ruled that 'black slaves in Britain were not entitled to be paid for their labour' (free Black people were, however, paid)."

The National Archives | Exhibitions & Learning online | Black presence | Rights
 
Dec 2011
1,013
Hertfordshire
#16
The last European country to abolish slavery on its soil was Wallachia, in 1856.

The last European country to abolish slavery within any part of its empire was Britain, in its autonomous division of Northern Nigeria in 1936, though oddly Britain was among the first to abolish and end the trans-Atlantic slave trade and slavery on its soil, in 1833 and 1772.
My refutation of 1772 is posted above....

Actually, the first West European country to abolish slavery was the Jacobin regime of Robespierre:

"The Convention, the first elected Assembly of the First Republic (1792–1804), on 4 February 1794, under the leadership of Maximilien Robespierre, abolished slavery in law in France and its colonies. Abbé Grégoire and the Society of the Friends of the Blacks were part of the abolitionist movement, which had laid important groundwork in building anti-slavery sentiment in the metropole. The first article of the law stated that "Slavery was abolished" in the French colonies, while the second article stated that "slave-owners would be indemnified" with financial compensation for the value of their slaves. The French constitution passed in 1795 included in the declaration of the Rights of Man that slavery was abolished."

[ame=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abolitionism]Abolitionism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame]

This Act resulted in slaves being freed in Martinique, Guadeloupe, St Domingue, etc, as the Jacobins sought to uphold their principle of "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity". When Napoleon came to power, he sought to reinstate slavery in the colonies, and succeeded in doing so in Martinique and Guadeloupe, and tried to do the same in St Domingue. His brother-in-law Le Clerc led an army to St Domingue, tricked Toussaint, and sent him back in chains to France, where he died. But Dessalines and Christophe took up the fight, gave Le Clerc a good old hammering, and when Le Clerc died in St Domingue, Napoleon quietly withdrew the defeated French army, and the colony became independent Haiti.
 
Nov 2009
3,865
Outer world
#17
The last European country to abolish slavery on its soil was Wallachia, in 1856.

The last European country to abolish slavery within any part of its empire was Britain, in its autonomous division of Northern Nigeria in 1936, though oddly Britain was among the first to abolish and end the trans-Atlantic slave trade and slavery on its soil, in 1833 and 1772.
Technically Italy abolished slavery during its advance in Ethiopia during the second Italo-Abyssinian war: slavery was officially abolished on 1935 with the "De Bono Proclaim" but it wasn't until May 9 1936 when the whole Ethiopia was occupied that the provisions didn't take force in the whole country.
 

Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
4,948
#18
This Act resulted in slaves being freed in Martinique, Guadeloupe, St Domingue, etc, as the Jacobins sought to uphold their principle of "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity". When Napoleon came to power, he sought to reinstate slavery in the colonies, and succeeded in doing so in Martinique and Guadeloupe, and tried to do the same in St Domingue. His brother-in-law Le Clerc led an army to St Domingue, tricked Toussaint, and sent him back in chains to France, where he died. But Dessalines and Christophe took up the fight, gave Le Clerc a good old hammering, and when Le Clerc died in St Domingue, Napoleon quietly withdrew the defeated French army, and the colony became independent Haiti.
That wouldn't seem to be quite how things worked out.

The Jacobin abolition of slavery was never implemented in places like Martinique and Guedaloupe. The local slave-owning society just wasn't going to unless forced. The locals even entered into negotiations with the British about switching allegiance, since the British empire was prepared to uphold slavery in the islands.

In that respect what Napoleon did was recognise the de facto situation that the Jacobin abolition of slavery had been an abject failure, while continuing to secure those islands for France — at the price of opportunistically giving up on the Jacobin abolition, which however had never been implemented (since the local power wouldn't stand for it).

Saint-Dominque being the obvious exception, since the rebels HAD abolished slavery. There were repeated pronouncements by the French that slavery would NOT be reintroduced. However, since the French campaign was defeated, it's unknowable IF those promises would have been kept or not.

Considering the pragmatist nature of Napoleon's regime, IF there had been some advantage in re-introducing slavery in Saint-Domingue, or abolishing slavery properly in Martinique and Guedaloupe, that's probably what would have happend — otherwise it wouldn't have.
 
Nov 2011
8,787
The Dustbin, formerly, Garden of England
#19
The last country in Europe to formally outlaw slavery on its own territory was probably the United Kingdom with the adoption of the Human Rights Act of 1998.
Although various charters, rulings, treaties and interpretations of Common law going back to 1102 have confirmed that Slavery is not a legal condition in England (and by extension the rest of the UK), no specific law was ever passed to outlaw it--just as no law has ever been passed to outlaw murder as it is automatically illegal in Common Law (only interpretation of what actually IS murder have been legislated for).
Contrary to Shivan's partisan view, the Sommerset case was preceded by many others, notably the case of "The matter of Cartright: 11 Elizabeth 2 (1569) and Smith v. Browne & Cooper (1706)--both quoted by Sommerset and those people who retained, pursued, coerced or kidnapped those slaves that they had brought into the country, acted illegally. Of course many Black slaves brought into Britain who continued in the service of their masters were, while legally free, unaware of their new condition and continued in service just like any other servant---but that did not make slavery a legally existing condition. In fact, in the 18thC their condition was no different from many native servants who worked for their keep and nothing more and were, especially when young, "indentured" to their masters.
The huge flurry of British laws governing the slave trade, the treaties with other countries, the laws governing colonies and territories, the forcing onto other states of the requirement to pass anti-slavery laws and the military expeditions from the late 1700s all the way up to the 1950s did not change the fact that there was no formal abolition in law in Britain until 1998.

Mind you the same government that put the slavery clause into law also passed a law in 2000 making it illegal to cause a nuclear explosion--something previously considered unnecessary.
 
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Dec 2011
1,013
Hertfordshire
#20
Where did I say there were no cases before 1772? I was just refuting the 1772 fiction....

It seems that whenever I refute things like 1772, I get called all sorts of names, but this is the first time I've been called "partisan", which is a nonsense, because I don't know exactly what I'm supposed to be "partisan" about. But let me ignore that stupid comment, and move on to the facts....

You can pretty it up any way you want, Ancient Geezer, but these are the facts, from the link above:

"Despite Lord Mansfield's ruling, slave owners continued recapturing their runaway slaves and shipping them back to the colonies. Numerous newspaper advertisements of the time show that Black slaves were still being bought and sold in England. A few years later, in 1785, Mansfield himself ruled that 'black slaves in Britain were not entitled to be paid for their labour' (free Black people were, however, paid)."

1) Slave owners continued recapturing slaves in England, and shipping them back to their colonies.

2) Newspapers continued to advertise the buying and selling of slaves.

3) Mansfield ruled in 1785 that black people were not entitled to be paid for their labour - in other words, they were slaves. You can call them apprentices if you want, but they were still slaves.

I guess the presentation of uncomfortable facts makes me "partisan"....

You talk about 1998 - some will say that's PR, and that when slavery was abolished in the 1830s throughout the British Empire, it was effectively abolished in England too. Sometimes you get a bit too caught up in what the law says, instead of focussing on what was really happening on the ground....

With regards to the French abolition of 1794, you are quite right, Larrey, in that the slaves led by Toussaint L'Ouverture really abolished slavery. Their revolt, and demand for liberty, equality and fraternity, forced the hand of the French Jacobins, and made them accept what was already a reality - slavery had in effect already been abolished in St Domingue due to the success of Toussaint and his colleagues. The colonial legislature in St Domingue had officially freed the slaves in 1793, in an attempt to get them on their side against the invading British, who were trying to capture St Domingue and put the blacks back in slavery. It was a move born out of military necessity, and it succeeded in getting the black ex-slave armies of Toussaint on the side of the French, and against the slave-owning British.

As for the other French colonies, they really shouldn't be lumped together, as they each had different histories....

1) Martinique, St Lucia and Tobago were all French colonies, but since they fell to the British, slavery was maintained there for the period of time in question. Eventually, Martinique was restored to France, but the British kept St Lucia and Tobago.

2) In French Guiana and Guadeloupe, the slaves owed their freedom to the 1794 abolition decree. This abolition decree enabled the French to retake Guadeloupe from the British, because freed slaves rallied to the republican cause. Guiana became known as the land that made men free.

3) The French conquered Spain and Holland, and as a result Suriname and Santo Domingo passed into their control, but the 1794 abolition decree was curiously not applied there.

The French then intercepted slave ships, and carried the slaves to Guadeloupe and Cayenne (French Guiana), were they were distributed as "free" workers. And yet, even though they were now free in those two colonies, there were restrictions on them, such as the denial of French citizenship, because curiously aspects of the Code Noir were still in effect. During this period, the ex-slaves abandoned the properties of their former owners and moved elsewhere.

Then, along came Victor Hugues, who began re-enslaving black people in Guiana in 1800. His decree in 1803 revived slavery in its pre-revolutionary form. In Guadeloupe, the slaves were freed in 1794, and then slavery was restored in 1802.

In this book, look at the pages between 130s-140s:

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id...nce 1794 guadeloupe martinique guiana&f=false

So, it's incorrect to say it was "an abject failure". It was only an abject failure in Martinique because that island was in British hands from 1794-1802, and when it went back to French hands, it was now under control of the pro-slavery Napoleon. Guadeloupe and French Guiana had freed their slaves, and that's what Napoleon and Hugues sought to correct. Napoleon's attempts to correct the situation in Haiti/St Domingue met with abject defeat and the death of his brother-in-law Le Clerc at the hands of Dessalines and Christophe.

I believe that any discussion of who "first" or "last" freed slaves needs to recognise this brief period in history when the French Revolution recognised certain realities in St Domingue, and granted the slaves of their colonies their freedom....
 
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