Most of the blacks who joined the Sierra Leone expedition of 1786–1787 were those who had served on the British side in its war with America and who had been discharged in England after the war. The expedition, believed to be a forced deportation of blacks from Britain, gave rise to the notion that ‘racism was a British way of life’. However, there is no concrete evidence that it was a concerted attempt by the British government and Britain's liberal establishment to rid the country of its black population. The Committee for the Relief of the Black Poor and the government, who supported the Sierra Leone venture, seem to have been motivated primarily by humanitarianism, by sympathy for abolitionists, and by gratitude towards the blacks as loyalists. A confluence of factors contributed to the failure of the Province of Freedom, including administrative hold-ups, leadership disputes, and the hesitation by the Black Poor themselves to board the ships. In the end, the re-established settlement became a symbolic representation of the crusade on the abolition of slavery.
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