Author Andrea Curry

Adam Smith predicted in 1763 that power- and profit-hungry human nature would never allow the widespread abolition of slavery. Nevertheless, in at least a partial victory over human nature, in early 1807 the House of Commons voted, 283 to 16, to abolish the British slave trade It had been decades since the first mention of the issue in Parliament. In 1791, 163 Members of the Commons had voted against abolition. Very few MPs dared to defend the trade on moral grounds, even in the early debates. Instead, they called attention to the many economic and political reasons to continue it.…