‘the Work of the White, Middle-Class Campaigners Was the Main Reason Why the Slave Trade Was Abolished’

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‘The work of the white, middle-class campaigners was the main reason why the slave trade was abolished’ The slave trade was abolished as an act of parliament, passed on the 25th March 1807 with the title-‘An act for the abolition of the slave trade’. This abolished the slave trade in the British Empire but not slavery itself; slavery was not completely abolished until 1833. A number of groups helped immensely to get the slave trade banned in the British Empire, and these groups were; the white middle class, the white working class and the ex-slaves themselves. The white middle-class campaigners consisted of many different people, some in parliament, and some with other high positions. There is one in particular who is recognised, called William Wilberforce, who campaigned against slavery in parliament. In 1787, William Wilberforce became leader of the parliamentary campaign of the committee for the abolition of the slave trade. Between 1789 and 1806, he attempted to pass numerous parliamentary bills against the slave trade. Many other middle class people fought to abolish slavery, such as Thomas Clarkson and Granville Sharp, who together persuaded Wilberforce to bring up the matter in parliament. Granville Sharp first began his fight against slavery in 1765, when he befriended an escaped slave named Jonathan Strong. Strong, unfortunately was spotted by his former slave owner, who tried to sell him back to the West Indies’ plantations. Sharp took the case to court and won, meaning Strong was free. This inspired Granville Sharp to continue to fight for slaves in court, and the number of wins grew very large. He carried on helping escaped slave until 1787, when he met Thomas Clarkson, who had published a prize winning essay on whether it was lawful or not to make humans become slaves in 1786. Together they formed the society for the abolition of the slave trade,

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