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The suppression of the Atlantic slave tradeBritish policies, practices and representations of naval coercion$
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Burroughs Roberts and Huzzey Richard

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780719085116

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719085116.001.0001

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The politics of slave-trade suppression

The politics of slave-trade suppression

(p.17) Chapter Two The politics of slave-trade suppression
The suppression of the Atlantic slave trade

Richard Huzzey

Manchester University Press

Richard Huzzey analyses Britons’ political commitment to slave-trade suppression, including the origins and evolution of policy in the context of domestic, international, and imperial politics. The suppression campaign was born of the unique conjuncture of British popular pressure and the conflict with Napoleonic France. The naval squadron became part of an 'anti-slavery state' in Victorian Britain, with both parties’ leaders posturing to show their commitment. After considering why a cross-party anti-coercionist movement failed to end the nation’s costly commitment to suppression in 1848-50, the chapter assesses the ways in which naval force advanced British interests as an aggressive imperial power and a supposed world hegemon. The suppression campaign rested on cultural and political, not directly economic, constructions of Britain’s national interest.

Keywords:   Slave Trade, Britain, Politics, Atlantic, Diplomacy, Foreign Policy, Empire, Law, Palmerston, International

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