Slavery Resistance in Britain.docx

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15 Apr 2012
October 31
Slavery Resistance in Britain
British Slave Trade
From 1700-1810, greatest slaving empire, first to move towards abolition
Quakers (Society of Friends), non-conformists, believed in egalitarianism,
emerged as conscientious objectors to slave trade, aligned with Christian
Religious non-conformity breeds unorthodox view on slavery
Many people had vested interests in slavery (large plantation owners)
John Gladstone was extremely wealthy with plantations in Caribbean and
had a key voice in Parliament against abolitionism
Society for Abolition of Slave Trade in England
Founded in 1787
Thomas Clarkson and Granville Sharp were radical non-conformist Christian
evangelists; sympathetic to French revolutionaries, spoke publicly for
abolitionism, compiled data on slave trade such as number of slaves per ship
In Parliament, William Wilberforce, a Christian intellectual, and author of
Practical Christianity, becomes devout supporter of abolitionism and its
mouthpiece in Parliament
These men try to make the horrors of the slave trade visible in Europe
because the triangular slave trade doesn’t bring slaves to Europe, but to the
West Indies
Zong Case
In 1783, company owning ship sues insurance company to pay benefits for
disease outbreak on ship killing many slaves captain throws ‘infected’
overboard to save rest of merchandise
Should he get insurance for it? More importantly, this highlighted the
inhumanity of slavery
Abolitionists and Public Opinion
Josiah Wedgwood, well-known business magnate of ceramics, begins to put
out goods with abolitionist symbols (pendants, tea sets, etc.)
“Am I not a man and a brother?”
Thomas Cowper, The Negro’s Complaintproducing poetry with abolitionist
sentiments; printed on quilts and other items
Organization of abolitionist speeches in halls, churches, etc. mobilizes people
Boycotts against sugar and other slavery goods
Since women buy the sugar, propaganda was directed towards them
Actually becomes prosperous industry, success breeds imitators
Abolitionist goods created by everyone, everywhere regardless of intentions
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