Slavery is the ownership of human beings as property used for the purpose of unpaid labor; a slave can be bought and/or sold by his/her master for a price by his or her owner. Slaves were often exploited and treated very poorly and this was the case in British society as the slave trade was prominent and grew to dominate the Atlantic slave trade. The Atlantic slave was established during the mid-17th century. Ships would sail from Europe with a cargo of manufactured goods to the west coast of Africa. Upon arrival, these goods would be traded over a certain time period for captured slaves from African slave traders. Such slaves would be shipped to America or to the Caribbean. Slave was housed and shackled together in very tight quarters on the slave ships during there the voyage. The conditions were very bad and many slaves did not survive the voyage. There were many people that supported the salve trade and argued that slavery made very important contributions to the country’s economy and gave rise to consumerism in Britain. Nearing the end of the eighteenth century, supporter of human rights and equality began to campaign against slavery due to the serious moral and ethical dilemma associated with the practice of slavery. Leading statesmen who oppose the old constitution in the United State of America, argued that the enslavement of the African was in violation of the laws of nature; and that is was wrong in principle, socially, morally and politically. The slave trade at the time was so profitable for the people that were involved in it’s practiced, the Abolitionist, were opposed by a pro-slavery West Indian lobby. Those who supported slavery used propaganda to instill the importance of the slave trade to continue the business of slavery. In 1807, the British government passed an Act of Parliament abolishing the slave trade throughout the British Empire, the practice of slavery abolished under the law in 1838 throughout British colonies, such as the West Indies and the Caribbean Islands. Key individuals have had a major impact on the abolition of slavery. One such person was John Newton. He was a complex and somewhat confused man who was brought up by his mother who taught him the bible at a very young age. He was a very inpatient and very rough man. He rebelled against discipline in all aspects of his life and was treated very badly by his superiors. He later became the captain of his own ship in which was a major contributor to the salve trade. His mother brought up Newton in Christianity but he never really paid any attention to his religion until he experienced a “great deliverance when he was on a homeward voyage in 1748. He converted to evangelical Christianity after his experience and became a clergyman and, in 1764, he ordained as a priest. During his later years he campaigned against the slave trade. He wrote a journal of his life on board of a slave ship and also an anti-slavery pamphlet. His life was one of a wretched person; one of poverty and emptiness. His life is expressed in one of the many hymns that he wrote Amazing Grace. John Newton, once a slave owner, became a key personality in the abolition of slavery.
John Newton was born on July 24, 1725 in Wapping, London to John Newton Sr. and Elizabeth Newton. His father was a shipmaster in the Mediterranean service. He was very respected by other sea captains because of strict he was in his principles and discipline. Newton father treated him in that same manner. He had to stand at attention until told to sit and could not speak unless spoken to. His father often went to sea for many months without a trace or even years at a time. However when his father came back in July 1732 when John Newton was just 7 years old, Newton’s father came back home and found out that his wife had died of tuberculosis. Newton had been living with the neighbors for the past nine months. His father then found another woman and remarried and went off to sea again,...
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