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Old November 28th, 2012, 05:12 AM   #31

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Originally Posted by Ancientgeezer View Post
What is your evidence that Geo.III or Geo. IV supported the pro-slavry lobby?
Geo.III, like all sovereigns had personal opinions and public opinions that were the opinions of his ministers. Geo III showed personal distaste for the slave trade in general as shown by his banning of sugar in the royal household as a silent protest against the trade. When the debate on slavery in the colonies reached its height with the first introduction of the anti-slave trade bill by Pitt in 1778, the King was going through his first bout of insanity and was not in a position to support or oppose the bill. It was during a narrow window of sanity that Geo III DID sign the antislave trade bill.
George III's sons always took a contrary view to anything that their father stood for, yet Geo.IV, the Prince Regent, the Duke of Kent (Victoria's father) and the Duke of Sussex supported Wilberforce, even though in the case of Prinny, Wilberforce was in the wrong party. This is evidenced by Wilberforce's dedication to these illuminaries in his published works.
The Duke of Kent, who had spent time in America and the West Indies, also provided finacial support to evangelical societies that agitated against slavery.
William IV on the other hand believed that manumission would do the slave in the West Indies no good and he had sound reasons. As he stated in the House of Lords before becoming King, he had travelled the world widely as a sea captain and had seen how Scottish crofters had fallen into total destitution when released from servitude, while the Scots could be shipped to the colonies, where, he asked, could unwanted negroes go? He also professed deep concern for the fate of the black poor in London. As a bon-vivant in his younger days, he also despised Wilberforce as a preachy, nosy do-gooder.

It was, however, in his reign that slavery was abolished in the Empire, the Reform Bill and the first factory and safety acts passed.
If you read any history book about slavery and the slave trade, you will see that George III and two of his sons, George IV and William IV, were supporters of slavery and the slave trade. Here is just some examples:

" George III, along with much of the royal family, remained opposed to abolition of the slave trade."

Ottobah_Cugoano Ottobah_Cugoano

"George Hibbert along with other West Indian Merchants in Parliament, King George III and the House of Lords effectively blocked the abolition of the slave trade from the Mansfield decision of 1772 that outlawed the owning of slaves in England to the eventual abolition of slavery in 1838."

George Hibbert | Publications

"Because of fears that the King would use the royal veto to block the measure, what became the Foreign Slave Trade Bill, introduced in April 1806, merely forbade British traders to sell slaves to foreign territories." 'Britain's Slave Trade', by S.I. Martin (London, 1999), p76.

It is a good thing that real power lay in the hands of prime ministers and their parties, and not the royal family, or the slave trade and slavery itself would've continued much longer than it really did....
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Old November 28th, 2012, 09:08 AM   #32
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There's actually a really great book that puts George III in a positive light, as most of you guys are leaning towards It's by Hibbert, called George III: A Personal History.
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Old November 28th, 2012, 01:02 PM   #33

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Originally Posted by shivfan View Post
If you read any history book about slavery and the slave trade, you will see that George III and two of his sons, George IV and William IV, were supporters of slavery and the slave trade. Here is just some examples:

" George III, along with much of the royal family, remained opposed to abolition of the slave trade."

Ottobah Cugoano - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"George Hibbert along with other West Indian Merchants in Parliament, King George III and the House of Lords effectively blocked the abolition of the slave trade from the Mansfield decision of 1772 that outlawed the owning of slaves in England to the eventual abolition of slavery in 1838."

George Hibbert | Publications

"Because of fears that the King would use the royal veto to block the measure, what became the Foreign Slave Trade Bill, introduced in April 1806, merely forbade British traders to sell slaves to foreign territories." 'Britain's Slave Trade', by S.I. Martin (London, 1999), p76.

It is a good thing that real power lay in the hands of prime ministers and their parties, and not the royal family, or the slave trade and slavery itself would've continued much longer than it really did....
Anyone who states that any sovereign blocked any Parliamentary legislation after 1708 does not really understand British consitutional history. Likewise anyone who states that this King said or did that in his capacity of monarch does not know how the British system works. There is no such thing as a Royal veto, although it is idly talked about, there is rather the witholding of Royal Asset, which has not been exercised for British law since Queen Anne's reign although it has for laws enacted in the colonies.
Opinions, even those of the slaveowner and enthusiastic bedder of black female slaves, Thomas Jefferson, are not evidence. While the Slavemaster Jefferson accused George III of being the cause of slavery in the American colonies, George owned no slaves, while Jefferson counted them as his wealth and pleasure. The Privy Council, not George III's, refusal to confirm a Virginian request to outlaw importation of slaves into Virginia was under the advice of the Governor of that colony and its motivation is addressed in a parallel thread.
Bills against the slave trade and against slavery in the colonies were brought before Parliament several times in George III's reign, as sovereign he was not allowed to comment on them publically. The bill of 1791 was defeated in the commons, the bill of 1792 was defeated at first reading and then passed after commitee, it went to the Lords too late to be considered for the session. On reintroducion in 1793 it was defeated in the Lords mainly because war with France had commenced and it was a low priority.
In 1804 a new bill passed in the Commons and was blocked at second reading in the Lords the following year. In 1806 a revised Bill outlawing trading slaves with foreign countries passed, reducing the slave trade by two thirds. In 1807 Grenville introduced the definitive anti-slave trade bill which was passed by both houses; for the first time Geo.III had a say and he immediately signed the Bill.
In 1791 to 1793 there had been a nationwide sugar boycott in support of the anti-slavery movement--a boycott that Geo. III joined and ordered all Royal servants and palaces to adhere to.
Geo. IV had no opinion on anything outside of the gaming table, the non-marriage bed, hunting and etc. He never took a political opinion in his life save getting his hands on enough money to support his lifestyle.
William IV as Duke of Clarence was against the slave trade but opposed freeing the slaves in British Colonies as, unlike politicians of the day, he was familiar with the West Indies and other parts of the Empire. He knew what a sorry bunch freed slaves were in the West Indies and his opposition to manumission was based on the slaves future of destitution as free men, but unable to fend for themselves. He also believed that priority should be given to the plight of the poor in Britain which was often worse that that of West Indian slaves and he detested Wilberforce and Granville for their absolute refusal to address the situation of the British urban poor, children and factory workers.
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Old December 27th, 2012, 10:37 AM   #34

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An unfortunate man, I think the play and film 'The Madness of King George' made him a much more sympathetic figure
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