2018-04-29 William Wilberforce: Reformation in Manners
William Wilberforce: Reformation in Manners
Taught by Jon Roberts
William Wilberforce achieved two great objectives in his life. The first, and best known, was his work leading to the abolition of slavery within the United Kingdom, but the second was his ability to affect a dramatic change in British human behavior. Wilberforce leveraged a speech given by George III at his coronation challenging the British people to live more principled and moral lives. Wilberforce cajoled and shamed, but also inspired the British to create a worldview that radically changed attitudes toward child labor, prostitution, and animal cruelty, among other causes. Wilberforce’s efforts shifted the consciousness of the British people and set the stage for what we now refer to as Victorian morals. In this forum, we will explore what motivated Wilberforce and how his Reformation in Manners movement worked and how we can apply this approach to addressing the dysfunction in our current culture.