“The only thing new in the world is the history you do not know.”


diciembre 2015




Google Ngram Viewer: Slavery, Abolition of slavery, The slave trade


Last week I searched these three words, which are Slavery, Abolition of Slavery and the slave trade, on Google Ngram Viewer to see when have they most appeared in books, magazines, etc.

The results weren’t strange as if you look at some information about history you realize why there’s a maximum in that place and not in another.

Firstly, we can see that talking about slavery, there’s a huge rise between the years 1830 and 1866. This is because the first country that abolished slavery was Great Britain in 1833 and since that moment that subject became very popular so that everyone wanted to know about, even if it was because they were in favor or against its abolition. We can also see that there’s a maximum between years 1863 and 1865 and after that it starts decreasing, and there’s a simple explanation for it. In 1865, the USA passed a bill abolishing slavery and that meant that it had almost disappeared. The same happens when we look at abolition of slavery. It appears a maximum between years 1860 and 1865.

Finally, we have that when it comes to the slave trade, there’s a maximum between the years 1815 and 1819. This is because between those years many campaigns started against slavery and the slave trade, so people began to fight for negroes’ freedom and some states passed the first bills abolishing slavery.



  • Slavery: The condition in which one person is owned as property by another and is under the owner’s control, especially in involuntary servitude.
  • Transatlantic slave trade: The selling of Africans as slaves across the Atlantic Ocean between Europe and the Americas.
  • Triangular trade: The name often given to the transatlantic slave trade and that describes the three sides to the route the slave ships took from Europe to West Africa, then to the Caribbean and the Americas and finally back to Europe. These routes are known as the Outward Passage, the Middle Passage, and the Return or Homeward Passage.
  • Outward passage: This refers to the first stage in the transatlantic slave trade. Ships carrying goods were sent to the West African coast to trade for captured Africans.
  • Middle passage: The second stage in the Transatlantic Slave Trade, in which ships carried enslaved Africans from Africa to either the Caribbean islands or the Americas.
  • Homeward passage: The third stage in the Transatlantic Slave Trade, with ships carrying items grown or made in the Caribbean or the Americas, such as sugar or tobacco, to Europe to sell.
  • Abolitionist: A person who supported the movement to end the Transatlantic Slave Trade and slavery.
  • William Wilberforce: British politician. As a member of Parliament (1780-1825) he successfully led the campaign for the Slave Trade Act (1807), which abolished the slave trade in the British Empire.
  • Thomas Clarkson: Thomas Clarkson was a key campaigner for the abolition of the slave trade and gathered evidence and witnesses for the cause, particularly from sailors. This evidence was used in Parliamentary enquiries to highlight the inhumanity of the slave trade and slavery.
  • The Slave Trade Act: The 1807 act was a comprehensive attempt to close the slave trade. By passing the law in March, Congress gave all slave traders nine months to close down their operations in the United States.

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