The Guardian tells us that Britain didn’t in fact move as one to abolish slavery. Rather, the nation rejected the idea, resisted it even. This is a particularly stupid view of politics and decision making:
Britain’s role in the slave trade was not to end it, but to thwart abolition at every turn
Contrary to our view of history, pro-slavery thinking in the 1820s and 30s was the norm, from politicians to monarchs
Sure. If everyone had been against slavery in the 1820s then slavery would have been abolished in the 1820s. So too if sodomy had been made legal in the 1950s then that would have been because the balance of opinion – balance of opinion being how politics does work – was, in those 1950s, that sodomy should be legal. As it turned out that wasn’t the general opinion.
So too with slavery. To think any other way is to refuse to understand how democracy works. And that’s particularly stupid when considering slavery and its abolition. For it was the reform acts – getting rid of the pocket boroughs that often enough were bought by the West Indian interests – that allowed the abolition of slavery to pass.
Or, as we might put it, when the peeps were able to have their say – the nation speaks and all that – then slavery went.