Slavery and Liberty – Profit vs. Morality

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Slavery and Liberty – Profit vs. Morality
18th-Century British Writers Speed the Process of Freedom

“By the late 18th century, over eleven million African men, women and children had been taken from Africa to be used as slaves in the West Indies and the American colonies. Great Britain was the mightiest superpower on earth and its empire was built on the backs of slaves. The slave trade was considered acceptable by all but a few. Of them even fewer were brave enough to speak it.” (Amazing Grace 2006) Discussions of slavery often focus on America’s involvement and the division of the new country – for and against the “peculiar institution” – during the War Between the States. It is important to remember that not only
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This was a hard task since most people in the Parliament gained vast profits doing business from slave trading.
The two major arguments in favor of slavery were its biblical basis and its profitability. Religious pro-slavery arguments were mostly popular in America and Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederate States of America, said: “[Slavery] was established by decree of Almighty God ... It is sanctioned in the Bible, in both Testaments, from Genesis to Revelation ... It has existed in all ages, has been found among the people of the highest civilization, and in nations of the highest proficiency in the arts.” 4 In England, the focus was more on the profit gained from slave trade and the income earned by the British colonies. The movie “Amazing Grace” (2006) gives a perfect description of the British 18th century battle for abolition and illustrates Wilberforce’s fight against the powerful anti-abolition lobby in Parliament. Duke of Clarence (portrayed Toby Jones) son of King George’s third, is an example of a person from the Parliament who is financially tied to slave trade and expressed in a anti-abolition speech in the movie: “If we did not have slaves, there would be no plantation. If we left the colonies, the French would then come in and there would be
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