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William Wilberforce, the politician and religious writer, was instrumental in the abolition of slavery in Britain in 1807. This unit 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 unit is an adapted extract from the Open University course From Enlightenment to Romanticism c.1780-1830 (A207). [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)]