African Abolition Struggles and Opposition Movements
Resistance during the Middle Passage
Resistance on Plantations
Runaways and Maroon Wars, 1600-1800
The Haitian Revolution
European and American Anti-Slavery Movements

Across the Atlantic World, there were always individuals or groups who publicly expressed their opposition to the Transatlantic Slave Trade. However, the most intense opposition was by enslaved Africans themselves and their resistance, together with abolitionists across Europe and the United States, was eventually enough to bring the trade to an end. Acts of resistance took place at every stage of African enslavement, from the struggles in Africa at the Coast, to the rebellions during the Middle Passage and the escapes or uprisings at the end of the voyage in the Americas or the Caribbean. European opposition to slavery developed slowly, the serious political campaign beginning in the late 1700s. For a long time profitability of the trade outweighed moral considerations. But eventually economics could no longer justify this inhuman trade, African resistance was making it less profitable and so it was brought to an end, at different times across Europe. So Europe’s opposition and final passing of abolition laws was important, but only within the context of a wider campaign against the trade.

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Revolt aboard slave ship © The Atlantic Slave Trade and Slave Life in the Americas: A Visual Record
Toussaint L'Ouverture © Anti-Slavery International

Revolt aboard slave ship

Toussaint L'Ouverture