How Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey (Earl Grey tea) impacted the Civil War.

major bill

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Forum Host
Joined
Aug 25, 2012
Charles Earl, 2nd Earl Grey was a British prime minister in the 1830s who had an impact on the American Civil War in two ways.

In 1832 Grey helped to get the Reform Bill of 1832 (a.k.a. 1832 Great Reform Act) passed. This Act greatly expanded who could vote in Great Britain. By adding small landowners, tenant farmers, shopkeepers, and the like, to those that could vote, this Act changed the political power in Great Britain. Because many in the upper class supported the Confederacy, it is possible that if this Act had not passed, Great Britain would have intervened in the American Civil War on the Confederate side.

The 2nd Earl Grey also helped to pass the Slavery Abolition Act of 1833 which immediately abolished slavery in most of the British Empire. The Act helped encourage the abolitionists in the United States as well as making British intervention in support of the Confederacy much harder. Had slavery still existed in Canada this would have discouraged the Underground Railroad, which in turn would have reduced the tensions between the South and the North.

There are several stories about the origin of Earl Grey tea, some of which do not involve Charles Grey. The more romantic stories of the orgin of Earl Grey tea are probably not true, but Earl Grey may have participated in the origins of Earl Grey tea. So as you drink your morning cup of Earl Grey tea, remember Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey.
 

Fairfield

Sergeant Major
Joined
Dec 5, 2019
Had slavery still existed in Canada this would have discouraged the Underground Railroad, which in turn would have reduced the tensions between the South and the North.
Perhaps. But I suspect that the underground railroad still would have existed; not all fugitives went as far as Canada. Also, there was a little known branch that went through Texas into Mexico.

But there's no doubting that a free Canada was a benefit. I'll drink my next cup of Earl Grey with renewed respect!
 
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