(Reuters) - Britain marks 200 years on March 25 since it enacted a law banning the trans-Atlantic slave trade, although full abolition of slavery did not follow for another generation.
Following are some key dates in the trans-atlantic trade in slaves from Africa and its abolition.
1444 - First public sale of African slaves in Lagos, Portugal
1482 - Portuguese start building first permanent slave trading post at Elmina, Gold Coast, now Ghana
1510 - First slaves arrive in the Spanish colonies of South America, having travelled via Spain
1518 - First direct shipment of slaves from Africa to the Americas
1777 - State of Vermont, an independent Republic after the American Revolution, becomes first sovereign state to abolish slavery
1780s - Trans-Atlantic slave trade reaches peak
1787 - The Society for the Abolition of the Slave Trade founded in Britain by Granville Sharp and Thomas Clarkson
1792 - Denmark bans import of slaves to its West Indies colonies, although the law only took effect from 1803.
1807 - Britain passes Abolition of the Slave Trade Act, outlawing British Atlantic slave trade.
- United States passes legislation banning the slave trade, effective from start of 1808.
1811 - Spain abolishes slavery, including in its colonies, though Cuba rejects ban and continues to deal in slaves.
1813 - Sweden bans slave trading
1814 - Netherlands bans slave trading
1817 - France bans slave trading, but ban not effective until 1826
1833 - Britain passes Abolition of Slavery Act, ordering gradual abolition of slavery in all British colonies. Plantation owners in the West Indies receive 20 million pounds in compensation
- Great Britain and Spain sign a treaty prohibiting the slave trade
1819 - Portugal abolishes slave trade north of the equator
- Britain places a naval squadron off the West African coast to enforce the ban on slave trading
1823 - Britain’s Anti-Slavery Society formed. Members include William Wilberforce
1846 - Danish governor proclaims emancipation of slaves in Danish West Indies, abolishing slavery
1848 - France abolishes slavery
1851 - Brazil abolishes slave trading
1858 - Portugal abolishes slavery in its colonies, although all slaves are subject to a 20-year apprenticeship
1861 - Netherlands abolishes slavery in Dutch Caribbean colonies
1862 - U.S. President Abraham Lincoln proclaims emancipation of slaves with effect from January 1, 1863; 13th Amendment of U.S. Constitution follows in 1865 banning slavery
1886 - Slavery is abolished in Cuba
1888 - Brazil abolishes slavery
1926 - League of Nations adopts Slavery Convention abolishing slavery
1948 - United Nations General Assembly adopts Universal Declaration of Human Rights, including article stating “No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.”