“What Was the Role of Female Writers in Abolishing Slavery?” Essay example

855 Words Dec 3rd, 2012 4 Pages
“What was the role of female writers in abolishing slavery?”
Women were not able to vote and little influence on the political scene; regardless of this, they played an important role in the abolition of the Slave Trade and slavery in the British colonies. In the early years, women were not direct activists and were not expected to take part in politics. Lady Margaret Middleton helped persuade William Wilberforce to take up the cause but could not become actively engaged herself. However women found their own ways to campaign. They wrote imaginative literature on slavery, such as Hannah More's publications. In 1792 Mary Birkett Card wrote 'A Poem on the African Slave Trade' and, as the campaign became more popular, many women, from all
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Women also played an active role in gaining public support for the campaign. In Birmingham, women's groups visited more than 80% of homes, persuading people to support the cause. They also paid for lecturers to give public speeches around the city. (quoted in “The Abolition Project ”and "The Anti-Slavery Effort.")
Nevertheless one could argue that the white middle class campaigners were the prime influence in the abolition of the slave trade, as they initiated and persisted with the anti-slavery movement. The campaigners ranged from uneducated yet enlightened people like Granville Sharp, through Methodist clerics like George Fox, to established politicians like William Wilberforce. They were appalled at the inhuman treatment meted out to the African slaves and took it upon themselves to fight for their freedom. This contributed greatly to the final abolition of the trade. George Fox, the pioneer of the movement, founded a group called the ‘Quakers’, which comprised of evangelical white campaigners who believed in the Christian values of equality in the eyes of God. In 1783, they sent their first petition to the Parliament in which they wrote ‘that a nation professing the Christian Faith, should so far counteract the principles of humanity and justice as by a cruel treatment of this oppressed race, to fill their minds with prejudices against the mild and beneficent doctrines of the Gospel’; aiming this

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