Whom Was Most Significant and Why? (18th Century Slave Trade and the Abolition of the Slave Trade- Key Figures)

Topics: Atlantic slave trade, Slavery, William Wilberforce Pages: 2 (681 words) Published: April 29, 2013
Whom was more significant and why?
HISTORY (UK Essay Question)

Thomas Clarkson appeared to be one of the most significant figures during the 18th Century especially in relation to the Slavery cause. He was seen to be a prominent figure to the abolition campaign, which at the time held widespread controversy when the idea was introduced. Clarkson seemed to be one of the main driving forces in relation to the whole campaign which caused him to be ultimately significant, in comparison to equally strong figures such as William Wilberforce, John Newton and Grenville Sharpe. This man’s means to challenge the institution of slavery and all that it stood for, was one of the very first steps (during the earlier years of the campaign) in improving the conditions of African slaves- which led to the abolition as it was a gradual process. His work was seen to target administrative support by gathering evidence and justifying his arguments through the evidence he had collated. This determination and use of tactical skill through consistency to approach the complexity of the issue, proved how prominent he was in evidently securing the abolition of Slavery in the later years (alongside Newton and the Quakers among others.) In the years prior to him contributing to the campaign, Clarkson’s passion for the abolition was evidently clear as his university contest essay was published by the Quakers (for “Is it licit to make slaves of others against their will?”), which was heavily influenced by the anti-slavery campaigner Anthony Benezet, was brought to the attention of many high class citizens in Britain. He stated “It was but one gloomy subject…it became now not as much a trial for academic reputation as for the production of a work which might be useful to the injured Africa”- his work portrayed him as being an efficient prime example of a moral compass that persevered even though obstacles challenged all he worked hard towards. On the other hand, it can be argued that...
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