Monday, June 14, 2010

Some Supressed History

The 200th anniversary of Act Prohibiting Importation of Slaves of 1807, took effect Jan. 1, 1808, when the importation of slaves into the United States was prohibited. Careful if you read Wikipedia, it is afterall one of those progressive history sites. This has been hidden history for the longest time in the USA. The date is past with little or no fanfare in the USA.

This neglect stands in striking contrast to the many scholarly and public events in Britain that marked the 2007 bicentennial of that country’s banning of the slave trade.

What explains this divergence? Throughout the 1780s, the horrors of the Middle Passage were widely publicized on both sides of the Atlantic and by 1792 the British Parliament stood on the verge of banning the trade. But when war broke out with revolutionary France, the idea was shelved. Final prohibition in England came in 1807 and it proved a major step toward the abolition of slavery in the empire. The USA followed suit a year later in 1808.

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