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Mixed Commissions, Mixed Blessing: On the British-Portuguese Anti–Slave Trade Treaty of 1817

By: Randall Lesaffer


Image credit: "The capture of the slaver 'Bolodora'", public domain via Wikimedia Commons.


In 1817 and 1818, the British government scored a significant gain in its fight for the abolition of the international slave trade. In the span of a year, three European powers, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Spain agreed to a treaty which restricted the slave trade on the Atlantic and imposed an enforcement mechanism. The first of these treaties was that of London of 28 July 1817 with Portugal (67 CTS 373).

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