The success of the abolitionist campaign

In the late 18th century the climate of public opinion began to change, slowly at first, but gradually gaining momentum.

The Society of Friends, a religious group, were one of the first to oppose the slave trade. William Wilberforce, Thomas Clarkson, John Newton, Granville Sharp, Olaudah Equiano and many others, joined the Abolitionist movement. Each contributed something different, but all having an impact on the move towards Abolition.

A decline in the economic importance of slavery meant Britain’s economy was no longer dependent on the triangular trade. Additionally a new source of wealth was created by the growth of new industries.

Abolitionists understood that the only way to end slavery was through Parliament. They presented their arguments across the country, lobbying MPs to try and persuade them to end the slave trade. In 1807 the British Parliament was finally persuaded that Britain’s involvement in the slave trade should come to an end.

Reasons for the success of the abolitionist campaign

Reasons the slave trade was abolished: town and city growth, American Independence, William Wilberforce and other campaigners, the Clapham Sect, economic factors, and societies for making changes.