The American Suppression of the African Slave Trade: Lessons on Legal Change, Social Policy, and Legislation
39 Pages Posted: 10 Jun 2009 Last revised: 31 Mar 2010
Date Written: 2009
This article is an examination of the United States’ voluntary withdrawal from the African slave trade. The Federal government voluntarily banned the import of new slaves after January, 1 1808 by legislative enactment which found its roots in a series of voluntary limitations beginning in the colonial period. Limitations on the African slave trade began at the state level and strengthened with successive legislative enactments to the eventual ban on the legal import of slaves all together by 1808. Later legislation made enforcement of the 1807 Act more profitable to prevent the importation of slaves than to smuggle them into the United States and caused a dramatic decrease in the numbers of illegal African slaves.
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