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What Was The Importance Of Religion In Ending The Slave Trade

1858 words - 8 pages

This assignment will discuss the importance of religion in ending the British colonial slave trade and slavery. As this assignment focuses on Britain’s slave trade and slavery, the words ‘slave trade’ and ‘slavery’ will refer to Britain’s slave trade and slavery. Primary and secondary sources will provide evidence that the role of religion was highly influential in the ending the slave trade and slavery. Religion was an important and influential factor that provided the backbone to the abolition of the slave trade and emancipation of slaves within the British Empire. However, other factors and influences proved to have greater importance in the abolition of the slave trade and slavery. These other factors and influences will be discussed and used to show what brought about the abolition of the slave trade on 25th March 1807 (Book 4, p.85) and emancipation of slaves on 1st August 1834 (book 4, p.117) . These other factors will show the role they played in the abolition of the slave trade and slavery. They will also discuss whether religion aided the cause for the abolition of slave trading and slavery. The assignment will be split into two sections; the first section will be on the slave trade and the second section on slavery.

Politics undoubtedly helped and played an important role in bring about the outlawing of the slave trade in Britain. The reason politics played such a key role in bring about the end of the slave trade is the power of the government to impose laws on the state of Britain. The ‘Act for the Abolition of the Slave Trade’ passed by parliament on 25th March 1807 (Book 4, p.85) this brought about the end of the slave trade. The Act banned the trading of slaves within British Colonies. Religion can be seen to have played a part in the passing of the Act as William Wilberforce who sponsored the Act was an Evangelical and was firmly against the slave trade (DVD). Wilberforce viewed the slave trade as ‘so enormous, so wicked, so dreadful, that it is quite simply our duty to end it for all time. For doing this, mark my words, God will bless this country’. (DVD). This was aided by the ‘Act of Union’ which gave Irish MP’s an influence in Westminster (Book 4, p.109) the Irish were pro abolition which gave greater calls to the ending of the trade. It is clear that religion played its part in influencing MP’s and government with the passing of the ‘Act for the Abolition of the Slave Trade’ as ‘it was easier for larger numbers to honour their Christian Principles’ (Book 4, p.110). The reason the Act passed was very few people voted on the Act in parliament but also due to the work of religious activists who influenced the British people into signing petitions and getting behind abolishing the slave trade

War contributed to the abolition of the slave trade when Napoleon reinstated slavery within the French Republic on 19th May 1802. Napoleon rejected the Enlightenment thinking which had brought the end of slavery in the French...

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