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'Emancipation, 1st August, 1834'. Illustration from James Mursell Phillippo's "Jamaica: Its Past and Present State".

The act for the Abolition of the Slave Trade was passed in 1807 and after this date British sea captains could be fined ÂŁ100 for every slave found on board their ships but it did nothing to free the already enslaved population in the Caribbean. The Abolition of Slavery Act was finally passed by the British Parliament in 1833 and came into force on 1 August 1834. The illustration shown here is from James Mursell Phillippo's 'Jamaica: Its Past and Present State.'

However, each Colonial legislature was allowed to decide whether the slaves could be freed immediately, or whether they first had to undergo a period of 'apprenticeship’. In some parts of the Caribbean many slaves were required to serve under this apprenticeship scheme and emancipation did not become a reality for them until August 1838.

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