A common misconception is that slavery is basically a racist European invention, but history shows the opposite.
The slavery existed in virtually every corner of the world before the coming of European explorers. The Aztecs had slaves before the coming of the Spanish, and slavery was common throughout North America long before Jamestown. Slavery was common throughout Africa, India, China, Polynesia, the Middle East, and most of Europe.
The European enlightenment in the 1700s started the modern campaign to end slavery. The US and the British Empire banned slave trade in the early 1800s. Slavery was banned most of the British Empire in 1833, and by that time slavery was banned in the northern half of the US.
By the end early twentieth century, modern western ideas of equality and justice combined with the spread of the industrial revolution had ended slavery throughout most of the world. The areas where slavery existed were those farthest from western influence. Slavery existed in the Ottoman Empire until it was replaced by modern Turkey after World War I. Ethiopia finally banned slavery in 1942. Saudi Arabia officially ended slavery in 1962, and Mauritania officially ended slavery in 2007.
Is there any reason to believe that slavery would have ended without the influence of western Europeans?
Was the abolition of slavery an example of Western cultural imperialism?