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What legal actions were taken against the slave trade?

Legal actions against the slave trade included the passing of laws and acts, such as the British Slave Trade Act of 1807.

The abolition of the slave trade was a long and arduous process that involved numerous legal actions. In Britain, the first significant step was the passing of the Slave Trade Act in 1807, which made it illegal to engage in the slave trade throughout the British Empire. This was followed by the Slavery Abolition Act of 1833, which aimed to abolish slavery itself in most British colonies, freeing more than 800,000 enslaved Africans in the Caribbean and South Africa as well as a small number in Canada.

In the United States, the Act Prohibiting Importation of Slaves was passed in 1807, making it illegal to import slaves into the country. However, it did not end the domestic slave trade, and slavery itself was not abolished until the passage of the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1865, following the American Civil War.

Internationally, the 1815 Congress of Vienna, which included representatives from major European powers, declared its opposition to the slave trade. This was followed by the 1890 Brussels Conference Act, which was signed by 17 nations and aimed to end African slave trade. It introduced measures such as naval patrols and the establishment of international courts to enforce the ban.

In addition to these legislative measures, legal actions were also taken in courts. For example, in the famous Amistad case in 1841, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a group of Africans who had been transported illegally to the U.S. had been kidnapped and had the right to fight for their freedom.

Despite these legal actions, the enforcement of these laws and acts was often weak, and illegal slave trading continued well into the 19th century. It was only through persistent campaigning by abolitionists, and the changing economic and political landscape, that the slave trade was eventually brought to an end.

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