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William Wilberforce

  • Date Submitted: 11/15/2013 08:38 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 47.8 
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William Wilberforce was one of Britain’s great social reformers. In particular, William Wilberforce is remembered for his active participation in getting Parliament to outlaw the slave trade. He died in 1833, just three days before Parliament passed the Slavery Abolition Act 1833, which effectively banned slavery in the British Empire.
Early Life William Wilberforce
William Wilberforce was born in Hull, to a wealthy family. At a young age he moved to London where he lived with some nonconformist relatives. These puritan ideals appealed to the young William and he became closely attached to his London relatives. However, at the age of 12, his Mother brought him back to Hull. His mother was keen to see William brought up in the traditional Anglican Church tradition and was not keen on her son having a nonconformist upbringing.
At the age of 18, William went to St John’s College, Cambridge University. As a student he lived a fairly carefree life, his early religious intensity had diminished and he was an active participant in the social life of University. However, he distanced himself from some of the social and drinking excesses his student colleagues participated in. William was not the best student (he had come into an inheritance and so felt little need to work very hard) However, he was well liked; he was an excellent conversationist with a pleasing voice and renowned singing voice. It was at Cambridge that he became friends with William Pitt the younger. William Pitt, a future Prime Minister, would remain a good friend and mostly a loyal supporter of William in later life. (except during the war with France, when they fell out on politics)
As his time at University was drawing to a close, William decided to run for parliament. Spending £8,000 he was able to win the seat in his native Hull, entering parliament at the age of 21. He decided to be an independent, although he would lean towards the reform element of the Tory party.
After four years in...


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