1805 Bill for Abolition passed in the Commons, rejected in the House of Lords
1807 25 March, Slave Trade Abolition Bill passed.
1822 Denmark Vesey’s revolt in Virginia.
1831 / 32 ‘Baptist War’; slave revolt in Jamaica.
1833 Slavery Abolition Bill passed which abolished slavery throughout the British Empire, effective from 1834 with the provision of an ‘apprenticeship’ period of six years. Planters paid £20,000,000 compensation.
1838 1 August, enslaved men, women and children finally became free.
Evangelicals played a significant role in the abolition of the slave trade, as well as in the abolition of slavery itself. Because of their religious beliefs and values they were amongst the leading philanthropists and pioneered numerous welfare provisions and social reforms in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. There is a line of spiritual continuity and practical piety, of evangelical witness and concern for social and spiritual transformation.
In his major tract, An Essay on the Slavery and Commerce of the Human Species (1786), Thomas Clarkson restored to the African those personal and social qualities slavery and misrepresentation had destroyed.
• Wilberforce, evangelicals and Walden Media’s “Amazing Grace” film on this most famous of the abolitionists.
Although William Wilberforce, the eloquent parliamentarian, is duly recognised as the prince of the abolitionist movement—‘the very sun of the Claphamic system’ 16 , according to Sir James Stephens—there were countless others who made significant contributions.
A transatlantic trade that lasted for nearly 400 years, saw over 30 million people violently removed from the African continent, provided the capital to finance 12 the Industrial Revolution in England and other parts of Europe and America, was more than just an ‘economic phenomenon’. It was an institution supported by the state, financiers, and a powerful lobby of planters and politicians.