Should the city of Bristol apologize for its contribution to the slave trade?
Well, the quick and easy answer would be "yes" as long as the black community thanks the British for being instrumental in ending the slave trade.
Following the work of campaigners in the United Kingdom, the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act was passed by Parliament on March 25, 1807. The act imposed a fine of £100 for every slave found aboard a British ship. The intention was to entirely outlaw the slave trade within the whole British Empire.
The Slavery Abolition Act, passed on August 23, 1833, outlawed slavery itself in the British colonies. On August 1, 1834 all slaves in the British Empire were emancipated, but still indentured to their former owners in an apprenticeship system which was finally abolished in 1838.
It also raises the fascinating question of whether black tribes, without whose active complicity the slave trade could never have flourished, should also apologise for slavery. [Emphasis mine—DK]
The transatlantic slave trade peaked in the late 18th century, when the largest number of slaves were captured on raiding expeditions into the interior of West Africa. These expeditions were typically carried out by coastal African kingdoms through more formal trade agreements with European traders or by slave raiding parties through more informal bounty agreements with European traders.
It seems only fair...
UPDATE: The Longrider makes many of the same points as I did.
So, should we apologise? I’ve made my position clear. Who should apologise and who should receive it? Why should a twenty first century population apologise for something that happened two hundred years before they were born and therefore cannot have any responsibility for? There is also rank hypocrisy here that stinks like a slave ship. The Bristol slavers did not act alone. Their slaves were rounded up and sold to them by Africans. Africa is as responsible for this reprehensible trade in human misery as the Europeans who shipped them across the Atlantic. Unlike Europe, though, Africa is still doing it.
For heaven's sake, LR, you can't expect the Africans to apologise for the slave trade! As we all know, Africans are all, at some level, Victims of the evil colonial Whities: before we arrived, they were all Noble Savages. Yes, even Queen Ranavalona. Still, it's a very nicely written article: go and read it all.