Tuesday, June 14, 2016

History: The Year is 1807

I've uploaded year 1807 to the TSP Wiki...


Here are some one liners...

U.S. Neutrality At Any Cost -- A US ship is boarded by the British and sailors are taken for desertion. An embargo is imposed.

The Slave Trade is Abolished -- British Parliament abolishes the trading of slaves but not the existence of slavery. That will happen much later.

In Other News -- Robert E. Lee is born, Vesta is discovered and gas lighting reaches London.

U.S. Neutrality At Any Cost

The United States is struggling to remain neutral in the war between the U.K. and France. France has declared that any British-derived cargo, even cargo on neutral transport, is subject to confiscation. The British are blockading French shipping off the coast of Virginia, and many sailors are deserting to sign up with the US Navy. British treatment of sailors has been abominable and one British deserter has been taunting the British on the streets of Norfolk. The commander of the British ship, HMS Leopold is looking for deserters so he presents a warrant to the commander of the USS Chesapeake for a search of his ship. The Chesapeake refuses to comply so the Leopold fires a broadside, killing 3 sailors and injuring many others. The Chesapeake responds with only one gun. She strikes her colors, and the British board her. One British subject and 3 Americans are pulled off and tried for desertion. The British deserter is hung from the yardarm. The rest are sentenced to lashes but the sentence is rescinded and they are impressed into service with the British Navy. (It's like being a prisoner, but a lot less fun.) The American public is outraged. President Jefferson orders all British ships out of American ports. The people call for war, but cooler heads prevail. The Congress imposes an embargo on all trade with Britain and France. Some say war with the UK is coming anyway. They are right. [1] [2] [3]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
The USA neutrality policy wasn't working because France was blocking all UK goods from entering European ports in order to hurt them economically. US Trade with the UK was thwarting France's plan, thus making the USA non-neutral, but if the USA complied with France's embargo, it would be abandoning neutrality as well. Neutrality in trade was a no-win situation. With shipping insurance going through the roof due to the war, prices were going to rise no matter what they did. The choices were to abandon trade neutrality or refuse to deal with anyone... thus the embargo was imposed. President Jefferson said that by cutting off trade with the UK and France, those countries would be punished and soon return to normal trade with America. It never happened because those other countries could do without American trade for a much longer time than America could do without them. American lifted the trade embargo two years later. [4]

The Slave Trade is Abolished

The British Parliament has finally abolished the slave trade throughout the British Empire with a vote of 100–36 in the House of Lords where it has stalled in previous years. The House of Commons is a slam dunk. William Wilberforce is the man behind the movement. When he entered politics, he was not a particularly religious man, but he became so over time. Over 26 years he has been fighting for the abolition of slavery. While he longed for the emancipation of all slaves, he knew that he could not get that through Parliament, so he has managed to abolish the trading of slaves within the Empire. This will be more proactive than one might think. The West African Squadron will be formed and aggressively blockade British slave ships, but two years later they will stop any slaver flying any flag. At this same time the United States has made the importation of slaves illegal. Slave trading itself will continue in the USA, but only with existing slaves. (The smuggling of slaves will continue.) Slavery will remain legal within the British Empire until 1833. Slavery in the USA will continue until 1863 when President Lincoln will issue his Emancipation Proclamation. [5] [6] [7]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
The United States waited because in the Constitution no federal law limiting slavery could be imposed until 1808. I think most Americans find this fact embarrassing. Certainly I do, but if slavery had been abolished immediately, Virginia would have collapsed economically. Thus Virginia wouldn't have voted for the Constitution. Then there was the 3/5ths rule of counting slaves in a congressional district. If slaves were counted one-for-one, there would be more congressional districts created in slave states but fewer eligible voters. Slaves couldn't vote. Slave owners could. Thus slave owners would have had too much power in the legislature. In other words, when I vote in a low-turn-out election, my voting power is increased, or if I live in a district with a lot of immigrants that can't vote, my voting power is increased. Thus, a pocket of eligible voters could create a "safe-district" where they always get what they want and everyone else doesn't because the others can't vote. [8]

In Other News

  • Vesta is a planet... for now. There is no such word as "asteroid" yet. By 1851, a large number of smaller objects called asteroids are discovered, so Vesta is renamed "4" or "4 Vesta" meaning the 4th asteroid discovered. [9] [10]
  • Gas-lighting comes to London streets. It is only a demonstration, but science is pushing back the darkness. [11] [12]
  • Robert E. Lee is born in Virginia. General Lee will command the Confederate Army during the American Civil War and his estate will become Arlington Cemetery. [13] [14]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1807, Wikipedia.

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