At the end of the 18th century, public opinion began to turn against the slave trade.
There was resistance to the slave trade:
In 1787, the Committee for the Abolition of the Slave Trade was set up. William Wilberforce represented the committee in Parliament.
British Africans such as Olaudah Equiano formed the 'Sons of Africa' and campaigned against the slave trade.
There is some evidence that the slave trade was becoming less profitable – the price of buying slaves in Africa was rising, reaching £25 in 1800, but the price for selling in the Americas had not risen as quickly and was only £35 in 1800.
It is a matter of contention amongst historians as to which of these factors most contributed to the eventual abolition of the slave trade. Was resistance from the slaves themselves significant enough to stop such a lucrative business? Was it the significance of key figures at home? Or was it the fact that it was becoming less profitable and this convinced slave traders to stop trading and the government to introduce laws banning it?