BURY THE CHAINS: THE BRITISH STRUGGLE TO ABOLISH SLAVERY Paperback – 1000
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Firstly I think,it is easy to forget just how SLOW communications were in the 18th and 19th centuries( even with the telegraph), the fastest mode of transport being the clipper ship and of course there was NO TV, radio or Internet.
Secondly, after the debacle that was the War of Independence, Britons were ready for a new moral crusade- and abolitionism was waiting at hand.
Thirdly, due to the Somerset ruling by the British High Court(1772) there were NO enslaved Africans in Britain per se-although it only freed James Somerset, it was widely thought that the ruling declared that any enslaved person was automatically free once he or she arrived upon British soil- much to the dismay of not just plantation owners in the Caribbean but their fellows in America's Deep South such as future signatories to the Declaration Of Independence such as Patrick Henry and future US Presidents such as Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and of course my namesake George Washington(who at least freed his own slaves after his death unlike Jefferson).
What I am surprised by is the up to date nature of the tactics used by British abolitionists( product placement, lobbying).
My only complaint is that when slavery was ultimately abolished throught the British Empire in 1834, only the plantation owners and not their erstwhile slaves(which included my own ancestors BTW) received compensation but at least it didn't require secession and a messy Civil War as it did in America nearly a quarter a century later!
I was particularly interested in it because it is also a story about an early activist campaign and the tactics used. Did you know that the first campaign buttons were made of beautiful pottery by the famous Wedgewood Potters and were proudly worn by supporters?
The movement had a strong leadership by Quakers, of which I am a member in Canada,so I had a strong interest in learning more about their role in the struggle. Another historical outcome was that it brought along subsequent struggles by other oppressed groups also to attain 'rights'. As an environmental and peace activist for much of my life, I felt encouraged that these early activists has been successful, as in the rights of working people to safe work places and fair wages and humane treatment, and it certainly encouraged women to struggle for their rights to equality and recognition as women. The first campaign button showed a black man kneeling and saying "Am I not a man like you?" and soon white middle and upper class women were demanding one showing a black woman kneeling, and asking "Am I not a woman like you?"
The story is absorbing, dramatic, and a great read and a great bit of history. The fight for equality is ongoing everywhere in the world. I bought my copy from Amazon as a gift to a perceptive young 18 year old friend for his next Birthday. I'm sure he'll like it.
Nevertheless a helpful book...though the history should be balanced with someone willing to give a more fair shake to how the Bible was motivating these men in combination with presenting a more thorough look at Wilberforce instead of the selective 7-8 total pages of a 366 page book.
Advanced-Search ISBN field, or into the Amazon.com Search box):
ISBN: 0618619070 2006-02-10 trade paper (softcover edition)
ISBN: 0618104690 2005-01-07 trade cloth (hardback edition)
You can read Amazonian reviews and editorial reviews of these by
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of either book.
BTW the same way Amazon has a SIP Statistically Improbable Phrase
the same way I have noticed THIS personally shocking factoid:
"a time when roughly three-quarters of humanity lived in some
sort of bondage, be it slavery, serfdom or indentured servitude".
FYI you can find a parallel situation WHICH STILL LIVES ON TODAY:
fatimacrusader.com/crrosnov/toccrrosnov.asp Scroll DOWN to "List"