last country to abolish slavery in Europe

Apr 2015
319
Canada
#21
The last European country to abolish slavery was the Russian Empire, which did so in 1861. Some say that this is not slavery, it is serfdom, but how can it be serfdom when the people could not own anything but their own clothes, and they could be bought and sold like animals?
 

robto

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
5,784
Lisbon, Portugal
#22
The last country in Europe to abolish slavery was definitely the Third Reich. Nazi Germany reintroduced slavery in Europe on a mass scale - Millions of Eastern Europeans were forced to work on German industries. That system was abolished when they were totally defeated by the Allied forces in 1945.
 
Aug 2009
5,021
Londinium
#23
^ The USSR outlasted Nazi Germany, so that dubious honour would go to them:

[ame=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forced_labor_of_Germans_in_the_Soviet_Union]Forced labor of Germans in the Soviet Union - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame]

[ame=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulag]Gulag - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame]
 
Apr 2015
319
Canada
#24
Jun 2013
6,337
USA
#25
In 1869, Portugal abolishes slavery throughout its empire. While it did abolish the trade and selling of slaves, apparently it existed until 1869 OFFICIALLY even though this mainly applied to its colonies.

Otherwise it was Wallachia in 1856.
 
Apr 2015
319
Canada
#26
In 1869, Portugal abolishes slavery throughout its empire. While it did abolish the trade and selling of slaves, apparently it existed until 1869 OFFICIALLY even though this mainly applied to its colonies.

Otherwise it was Wallachia in 1856.
Not Wallachia. Russian Empire abolished slavery in 1861. Russia was the last European country to abolish it.
 
Last edited:
Oct 2010
1,680
Wessex
#30
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.
I was also going to say the UK that abolished slavery in 2010.

This came from the TV show QI. The theory being slavery was never legal in the UK and therefore there was no need for a law to abolish it.

However, QI might have been referring to a legal technicality that there was no specific crime of slavery. If slavery existed, the person would be arrested for related crimes. The 2009 Coroners and Justice Act specifically included slavery as a crime.
 

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