Culture of Life Studies
Movie Discussion Guide: Amazing Grace (2006) (Digital Download)
Amazing Grace tells the true story of William Wilberforce’s 20-year battle in Parliament to end the slave trade in England, which led to the total abolishment of slavery in England a few years later. In the late 18th century in England, 11 million men, women, and children were taken as slaves from Africa to the West Indies and the American colonies. The British Empire gained power and influence from the slave trade, which was widely accepted by all but a few people.
Because slavery is so widely accepted, Wilberforce’s task of introducing a bill into Parliament is not easy. Most members of Parliament see the abolition of the slave trade as a direct attack against the king and the British Empire. Over the years, Wilberforce and his friends try many tactics: showing unwitting members of Parliament the stench of a slave ship, producing pamphlets to distribute, gathering signatures on a petition, and introducing legislation against the slave trade under the guise of a different regulation.
In the end, the abolitionists win the vote to end the slave trade, and the House of Commons passes the Slave Trade Act of 1807. Wilberforce died in 1833—just days after learning that Parliament would abolish slavery in the British Empire.
Recommended for junior high school and up.Contents include:
- Complete story summary
- Teacher notes and discussion questions
- Life Theme
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