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Humanitarian ImperialismThe Politics of Anti-Slavery Activism, 1880-1940$
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Amalia Ribi Forclaz

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198733034

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198733034.001.0001

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The Anti-Slavery Revival, 1888–1914

The Anti-Slavery Revival, 1888–1914

(p.14) 1 The Anti-Slavery Revival, 1888–1914
Humanitarian Imperialism

Amalia Ribi Forclaz

Oxford University Press

Chapter 1 starts with an examination of the revival of anti-slavery ideas in the late nineteenth century. The 1880s saw the emergence of transnational connections between Catholic anti-slavery associations in Italy and France, and Protestant abolitionist organizations in Britain and Switzerland. Relations between these groups relied on the exchange of information and on regular meetings that shaped the individual organizations’ internationalist as well as nationalist aspirations. In the early twentieth century, British revelations of labour abuses in the Congo exacerbated existing ideological and spiritual differences between the various national groups, thus exposing the fragile framework on which this liberal humanitarian and essentially imperial internationalism was built. The coming of the First World War reconfigured transnational relationships by ending the activities of the French anti-slavery society, nationalizing the focus of the Italian campaigns, and—in the British case—galvanizing the international dimension of the humanitarian campaign against African slavery.

Keywords:   internationalism, Catholicism, colonialism, Vatican, Slavery, Africa, colonialism, Congo, humanitarianism, First World War

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