This thesis is an examination of slave abolitionists in Liverpool and Manchester and their shared hinterland of South Lancashire. Cheshire and North Wales from 1787 to 1834. The changing economic and social structures of the region provide a backdrop to consider activities during the campaign against the slave trade up to its abolition in 1807, and the campaign for emancipation, which achieved success in 1834.\ud \ud The thesis uses existing theories of economic decline and economic sacrifice to explain Britain’s abandoning of the slave system as a starting point. However, the thesis explores the complex interplay of commercial, religious and political interests in the region in an attempt to gain a clearer picture of the forces at work, which motivated protagonists’ activities.\ud \ud The thesis contextualises the campaigns against the slave trade and the institution of slavery within the rapidly industrialising landscape of the region. This industrialisation ushered in a new local social and economic elite: the industrial middle class, who would assume political influence to match their economic power, with the reform of Parliament in 1833. This study shows that it was appeals to the interests of the new élite that carried most weight, helping bring about the sea change in British public opinion.\ud \ud An examination of important abolitionalists’ activities in the region illustrates how the anti-slavery movement framed their arguments. These arguments tied together religious and economic concerns within a broader political framework, which reflected the growing importance of laissez faire economic philosophy and the declining influence of traditional power brokers. In this light, it is interesting to consider the arguments forwarded by abolitionists who fell outside of this industrial, Dissenting, disenfranchised group to illustrate how their concerns differed. The study recognises that opposing political paradigms could be used to underpin arguments against slavery
To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.