Abolition of slavery and serfdom

From Roses, Tulips, & Liberty

The abolition of slavery and serfdom occurred at different times in different countries. They often came as the result of various political, social, and cultural changes. Abolition is most commonly enacted through laws and edicts, either gradually or in one go.



Date Jurisdiction Description Notes
1652 Providence Plantations Rhode Island passes the first law in the American colonies restricting slavery - it was ineffective
1687 Florida Fugitive slaves from Virginia granted amnesty in exchange for converting to Catholicism


Date Jurisdiction Description Notes
1751 Japan Shōgun Muneharu attempts to abolish feudalism and indentured servitude for prostitutes
1788 New Netherland Nova Svecia Anti-Bondage Society is formed


Date Jurisdiction Description Notes
1807 Ezo, Japan Slavery is re-legalized by the Tokugawa administration in Ezo for 11 years, until 1818
1808 Colonial Tussenland Konings' Law of 1808 criminalises the slave trade and ex post facto purchases
1810 New Netherland Statholder van der Beeke passes the Abolition of Slavery Act, not extending the law to the nation's territories. Indentured servitude remains legal
1816 Ottoman Empire Sultan Mehmed V issues an edict officially suppressing the white slave trade and freeing Circassian, Slavic, and Greek slaves
1831 United Kingdom, Carolina, Guyana, New England, Parmelia, Gambia, Sierra Leone The British Parliament passes the Slavery Abolition Act, explicitly excluding certain colonies such as colonial India
1836 Bahia The emerging free Bahian state bans slavery and indentured servitude
1841 Bahia 6 slaveowners are hanged and their properties confiscated for possession of slaves
1853 Saint-Domingue Governor-General de Lepinay abolishes slavery
1855 South Tussenland Zoekerist officials abolish chattel and all other forms of bondage
1861 Tussenland After independence, Tussenland abolishes slavery
1862 Colonial India With India coming under Crown rule,
1874 Portugal Portugal abolishes slavery in its European and American territories
1878 Equador Abolition of Slave Bondage Bill passed, de facto effective in urban areas
1883 Oman (United Kingdom) Abolishment of slavery in the Sultanate of Muscat
1886 Corea Slavery is abolished, though this does not extend to Poeja
1889 Ottoman Empire All forms of slavery are abolished and the African slave trade is suppressed
1899 Japan Serfdom is abolished within the new Constitution


Date Jurisdiction Description Notes
1900 Equador Remaining slavery is suppressed
1908 New Netherland Indentured servitude banned by the Unity Party's government

History of abolitionism

See also