Britain and the Empire: the 1807 abolition of the slave trade
Time: 12:30 - 14:30
Location: Keeley Street
Course Code: HBH42
Duration: 6 sessions (over 6 weeks)
What is the course about?
Using contemporary eighteenth and nineteenth sources including speeches, pamphlets and poetry, we will move away from mono-causal historical explanations to examine the various factors that influenced the abolition of the slave trade, including parliamentary pressures, public protests, the work of British and African campaigners, the rise of industry, European relations and slave resistance, rebellions and revolutions.
What will we cover?
• The legal status of slaves in Britain & the 1772 Mansfield Judgement
• Black Britons & the significance of Black activists in Britain
• Petitions, pamphlets and the Sugar Boycott
• Anti-slavery themes in art, poetry and pottery
• Religion and the work of the Clapham Sect
• Thomas Clarkson, William Wilberforce & Parliament
• The rise of industry and mechanised labour in Britain
• The impact of the Haitian Revolution & slave resistance
• The impact of the Napoleonic Wars
• Changing concepts of imperialism
• Planter protests, the Caribbean economy & the continuation of slavery as a system of labour.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
• Critically assess different historical approaches to the abolition of the slave trade
• Evaluate the significance of public protests in raising awareness of the slave trade
• Identify the contributions of black activists
• Evaluate the role of British religious sects in raising awareness of the issue
• Assess the impact of parliamentary pressure on the abolition of the slave trade
• Identify the ways in which the Haitian Revolution affected attitudes towards the slave trade
• Assess the impact of the Napoleonic Wars on legislation targeted at ending the slave trade
• Identify the ways in which slave resistance affected the slave trade
• Evaluate the impact of changing industrial relations on slave labour.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This is an introductory course and no prior knowledge of the subject is required. An open mind and willingness to engage constructively with this topic is essential.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
Through lectures, discussions, debates and class activities. A Google Classroom with optional extended reading will be available, together with a reading list
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
.No. Please bring a pen and notebook/paper to class.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
Other courses in British and Global history. Please see the City Lit website.