Napoleon, the British Public Opinion, and the Abolition of the Slave Trade Lubomir KrastevIn: Slavery Past, Present and Future, Inter-Disciplinary Press, 2016. p. 13-19http://www.shadowsofslavery.org/publications/Colosio_2016.pdf
I agree with the author, we have not devoted sufficient effort to understanding the strands and complexities of the abolitionist movement. It is perhaps understandable, with the current political sensetivities, that the lionising of what was predominently a group of educated middle to upper-middle class white men might be problemmatical. All the more so when their convictions appear to be based on evangelical beliefs that were considered radical then, more so to our modern largely secular eyes.
The author conflates the revolution with Napoleon, which the author acknowledges was not universally true. It is strange that republicanism in Britain might still be thought of waving the flag for Bonaparte, despite him making himself His Imperial Majesty! The author rather glosses over the re-introduction of slavery, despite Napoleon being on the record that he believed it to be a mistake on his part. It is worth noting that his regret appears to be on pragmatic grounds than moral ones.
An aspect I had not thought of was the damage that abolition did to Anglo-US relations by restricting replenishment of American plantations. If we are to regard that maritime stop and search was merely a Cassus Belli, could not abolition be seen as part of the slippery slope towards 1812?
An interesting but short article, which I believe asks more questions than it answers.