The observations we are looking for do not concern Britain’s status as a world super-power or economic prowess. From end to end of those hundred years, Britain was the acknowledged world super-power and a financial and economic powerhouse. What we are really looking for is a sea-change, a paradigm shift, in society itself – its general tenor and temperament.
Guilty conscience over the terrible inhumanity and atrocious degradation of whole sectors of humanity based on race and class had to be reawakened, and the powerful brought to shame and acceptance of guilt – at least a critical mass thereof. It was the work of William Wilberforce and his growing army of collaborators who undertook this impossible-looking task. And they won the hearts of the masses along the way with their practical demonstration and savvy campaign strategies.