Jordan Peterson Amid Queen's Death: U.K. Did More to End Slavery Than Anyone

During a written tribute to Queen Elizabeth II, controversial Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson has claimed that no country did more to eradicate slavery than the United Kingdom.

The right-wing commentator has spoken out in support of the late queen and the constitutional monarchy several times since her death, but made his statement about slavery in a column for the British newspaper The Telegraph, posted on the date of her funeral.

"The UK…fought the long battle to make slavery not only untenable on the political and economic fronts but clearly wrong from the moral position," Peterson wrote.

He continued: "Slavery was universally practiced, as far back into history as we can see, and as widely as any other economic practice. Abolition was the exception and, while abolitionist sentiment emerged in other jurisdictions, no country did more to enforce the strictures against slavery on the international scene than the UK.

Jordan Peterson and Queen Elizabeth II
Jordan Peterson, pictured left, paid tribute to the late Queen Elizabeth II, pictured right, in a newspaper column in which he also praised the U.K. for its role in the abolition of slavery. Chris Williamson/Getty Images / Bettmann

"Historically, people in Britain were slaves themselves during the Roman conquest of Britain, but the country then benefited greatly in the following centuries. They became major merchants of the Atlantic slave trade which saw people from African countries become slaves in several countries across the world."

An abolitionist movement grew in Britain during the 18th and 19th century. Countries across Europe had freed slaves en masse and in 1787, the Society for Effecting the Abolition of the Slave Trade was formed in London. This led to the 1807 Slave Trade Act that abolished the slave trade across the British Empire. The Slavery Abolition Act 1833 saw the institution of slavery abolished thereafter.

Peterson had made similar comments on the day of the queen's death earlier in September, sharing a clip of himself on his YouTube channel giving a public lecture in Manchester, England.

"No one in the United States ever talks about the fact that the U.K. was the country that eradicated slavery," he said. "That only happened once in the whole history of the human race, and your country did it.

"It was your country that established, once and for all, on the political and economic front that that was not to be tolerated. It took a while for that idea to spread everywhere."

His comments were met with a mixture of praise and criticism online.

On Twitter, @JeffChangx said they usually agree with Peterson, but not in this case.

"How can you praise the bully for putting a plaster on the victim they harmed??" she wrote in an analogy of the situation.

"He failed to mention that Britain compensated slave holders that lost their human property," @DrJermaineThom1 wrote. "That's like ending the Holocaust and then compensating the Nazis."

However, a YouTube commenter in Nigeria praised Peterson and the U.K.

"One thing that many of us in Africa cannot deny is that slavery was ended by the British during the era of colonialism they were involved with," the user with the screen name orbo Akin wrote.