HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » Question for DU historian...

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 09:45 AM

Question for DU historians, RE: Lincoln and slavery

Watching Lincoln for the second time - absorbing a lot more than I did the first time. Brilliant scene where President Lincoln reasons out, then declares, his Constitutional powers regarding the Emancipation Proclamation. In principle it's very much like the debate raging now in Washington on whether President Obama has the constitutional authority for the executive orders he's given. In both cases Congress has fought and/or refused to act on needed legislation.

On the question of slavery, was there international pressure on the US to end slavery before the Civil War?

2 replies, 617 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 2 replies Author Time Post
Reply Question for DU historians, RE: Lincoln and slavery (Original post)
wyldwolf Aug 2014 OP
Tuesday Afternoon Aug 2014 #1
malthaussen Aug 2014 #2

Response to wyldwolf (Original post)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 10:09 AM

1. Slave Trade Act 1807

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to wyldwolf (Original post)

Sun Aug 3, 2014, 10:38 AM

2. Depends on what you mean by pressure.

The Powers benefited from the cheap cotton the plantation system could provide to their textile mills, so opposition was always more a matter of moral repugnance rather than national interest. While there were sporadic efforts to police the slave trade, these were hampered by jurisdictional questions and the refusal of some States to cooperate with proposed solutions. Since the slave trade was international by nature, it required some form of international enforcement. Mixed Commission Courts were set up to try and punish slavers, but the US refused to allow these courts jurisdiction over American slavers. (We weren't alone in this) Short of war, there wasn't much the Powers could do about that, and they were not prepared to fight a war over slavery.

As for the practice of slavery, most of the Powers had abolished slavery well before the 19th century, although in a rather piecemeal fashion. But the attitude towards slavery in other countries was (and largely remains) that it is a matter for that country to decide, there is no mandate to interfere in the internal affairs of another State.

So what "pressure" might have been brought to bear would have been the efforts of religious and civil organizations deploring the practice and calling for abolition. There was about as much of that as you might expect, and it was about as effective as you might expect. To paraphrase Stalin, the Anti-Slavery Movement had no divisions.

-- Mal

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread