Wilberforce's Abolition Of The Slave Trade

1997 Words 8 Pages
After his conversion experience, Wilberforce sought to stand behind a worthy cause rather than promote his selfish ambitions to further his career. On October 28, 1787, Wilberforce wrote a statement in his diary that would set the course for his life. He declared that “God almighty has placed before me two great Objects—the suppression of the slave trade and the reformation of manners.” During this time, the slave trade was a powerful entity within the British empire. The Society of Friends, or Quakers, worked to end the slave trade for a number of years, to no avail. In 1783, the first petition, presented by this group, was put in front of parliament, and by 1787, the Committee for the Abolition of the Slave Trade was founded with the help …show more content…
The first bill he introduced in 1791 lost by 163 votes to 88, but he never backed down from his position. In 1805, the House of Commons passed a bill to outlaw the transport of slaves by British subjects, but it was defeated by the House of Lords. Finally, in 1807, the Abolition of the Slave Trade bill was passed in the House of Lords and became law on March 25th. While this may have seemed like a victory for Wilberforce and his colleagues, the slave trade continued, …show more content…
The term came from a document titled The Proclamation for the Encouragement of Piety and Virtue and for the Preventing of Vice, Profaneness, and Immorality. This was a royal proclamation, issued by every king or queen upon their ascension to the throne, that was mainly a formality and was quickly forgotten by the people. However, Wilberforce stumbled upon the fact that, when William and Mary ascended to the throne in 1692, “their royal proclamation had in fact had a widespread and genuine effect on society. For along with the usually toothless proclamation, the king and queen had formed a ‘Proclamation Society’—by which society was thereby deputized to put into effect what the royal proclamation had proclaimed.” Wilberforce’s discovery of this spawned his plan to persuade George III to reissue his proclamation, which he did, and Wilberforce intended to put in place proclamation societies that would see to it that the society would uphold the moral standards. Author Jean N. Baker states that the society’s “broad aims were to set out in a prospectus that stated its purpose as being to ‘enforce a stricter execution of the laws against vice and immorality’ and ‘to afford the Magistracy such assistance in the discharge of their duty as the nature of the case may require.’” During this time, the corruption was common among both the lower and upper classes. The elite of society

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