The British people in the 1800s were no strangers to slavery. It was an integral part of their economy and society, with many Britons profiting from it. But a movement emerged that challenged this backwards form of labor, and eventually succeeded in abolishing the practice. This movement is known as abolitionism, which sought to abolish not only slavery but also racial discrimination throughout the world. The man who played a major role in this movement was William Wilberforce; he had been deeply affected by his time spent studying Christianity abroad and wanted to bring those beliefs back home so that they would impact others for generations to come. To understand why Wilberforce felt so strongly about human rights, we’ll explore his childhood and upbringing first before delving into his activism and eventual success.
In the 1700s, Wilberforce was being raised in a wealthy family where he had access to servants who could help with housework. But it wasn’t until he started studying abroad that he realized just how much inequality there was between social classes. He spent time in France during his studies at Oxford University and saw firsthand what life for someone of another class looked like; people were living on the street without even enough food or clothes to keep them warm. When he returned home after graduating at age 20, two things became clear: first, slavery needed to end because its existence contradicted everything Christianity stood for (after all, Jesus commanded us not only to love our neighbor but also our enemies) and second one