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William Wilberforce, the politician and religious writer, was instrumental in the abolition of slavery in Britain in 1807. This free course explores Wilberforce's career and writings and assesses their historical significance. In particular, it examines the contribution that Evangelicalism, the religious tradition to which Wilberforce belonged, made in the transitions between the Enlightenment and Romanticism. Throughout it relates Wilberforce's career and writings to wider social and cultural developments in Britain, with special regard for British reaction to the French Revolution.
After studying this course, you should be able to:
- understand the key aspects of William Wilberforce’s political career and writings, and have an appreciation of their historical and religious significance
- demonstrate an awareness of the relationship of Evangelicalism to cultural transitions between the Enlightenment and Romanticism
- understand the contribution of religion to cultural, social and political change in Britain in the years after the French Revolution.
- Current section: Introduction
- Learning outcomes
- 1 Wilberforce’s early career
- 2 Britain and the French Revolution
- 3 Britain in the 1790s
- 4 Wilberforce’s A Practical View
- 5 Wilberforce and slavery
- 6 Conclusion
- Keep on learning
- Further reading
Study this free course
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William Wilberforce, the politician and religious writer, was instrumental in the abolition of slavery in Britain in 1807. This course explores Wilberforce’s career and writings and assesses their historical significance. In particular it examines the contribution that Evangelicalism, the religious tradition to which Wilberforce belonged, made in the transitions between the Enlightenment and Romanticism. Throughout it relates Wilberforce’s career and writings to wider social and cultural developments in Britain, with special regard for British reaction to the French Revolution.
This OpenLearn course provides a sample of Level 2 study in.
This free course includes adapted extracts from an Open University course which is no longer available to new students. If you found this interesting you could explore more free History of Art courses or view the range of currently available OU History of Art courses.
Copyright & revisions
Originally published: Friday, 5th February 2016
Last updated on: Friday, 5th February 2016
- Creative-Commons: The Open University is proud to release this free course under a Creative Commons licence. However, any third-party materials featured within it are used with permission and are not ours to give away. These materials are not subject to the Creative Commons licence. See terms and conditions. Full details can be found in the Acknowledgements and our FAQs section.
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