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

Paul Finkelman

University of Pittsburgh, School of Law; Albany Law School - Government Law Center

Date Written: 2009

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

Finkelman, Paul, The American Suppression of the African Slave Trade: Lessons on Legal Change, Social Policy, and Legislation (2009). Akron Law Review, Vol. 42, No. 2, 2009; Albany Law School Research Paper No. 46. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1416090

Paul Finkelman (Contact Author)

University of Pittsburgh, School of Law ( email )

3900 Forbes Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
United States
412-648-2079 (Phone)

Albany Law School - Government Law Center ( email )

80 New Scotland Avenue
Albany, NY 12208
United States

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