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William Lloyd Garrison
Transcript of William Lloyd Garrison
1. What criticism of American society did the individual have?
William Garrison opposed the practice of slavery. He was an advocate for other reforms, but he is most famous for being an abolitionist. His harsh language and firm opinions angered many Americans who opposed him.
2. What methods did the person use to improve American life?
The number one method used by William Lloyd Garrison was the written and spoken word. He was a great writer and speaker. Because he believed that slavery was a moral issue, he doubted political changes would be effective. He was one of the founders of the American Anti-Slavery Society, and he believed in immediate emancipation of slaves in the US. He was also a strong voice for women's suffrage movement.
3. What success did the individual have in promoting reform?
William Garrison succeeded in publishing an antislavery newspaper, “The Liberator”. The circulation was never over 3,000. He angered many people with his adamant views professed in the articles.
Together, with other allies, he created the American Anti Slavery Society in 1833. This helped to gain awareness of the cause.
However, Garrison believed that politics would not solve the problem of slavery. He also encouraged the society to advocate for other reforms. Both of these ideas were met with controversy, and those who sided with Garrison created the American and Foreign Abolition Society.
Although critical of Abraham Lincoln at first, Garrison lived long enough to see the end of slavery with the Thirteenth Amendment, which outlawed slavery.
4. What detail(s) of the person's work made him or her an interesting historical figure?
Garrison was very passionate about abolition, and was quoted saying,
“I will be as harsh as truth and as uncompromising as justice....I am in earnest-I will not equivocate-I will not excuse-I will not retreat a single inch- and I WILL BE HEARD!”
Garrison also abhorred the Constitution, which allowed slavery to exist, calling it “a covenant with death and an agreement with Hell”. He even burned a copy of the Constitution at an abolitionist meeting.
His main strategy was to use “moral persuasion”. Garrison was most remembered because of his startling language used in his written works. While he was a great speaker and writer, he was a poor organizer.
William Lloyd Garrison was born in mid December of 1805. His father deserted the family when he was three years old, leaving his mother to care for her three children. Garrison became an apprentice to a newspaper editor at the age of 13, which was the beginning of his career in journalism.
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5. To what extent was the reformer obsessed with achieving an impractical goal through fanatical or impractical means?
William Garrison was very passionate about his work to abolish slavery. He was very impatient and advocated for the "immediate and complete emancipation of slaves". He eventually reached the point where he burned a copy of the Constitution because it allowed slavery. He continued speaking out against the Constitution for twenty years. Garrison did not only hold slave owners to be guilty, but condemned bystanders and others who were not as dedicated as himself to the cause.
6. What lasting impact did the person's reforms have on American society?
Garrison, known as the symbol for abolitionism, brought the country to realize that they needed to practice what they preached. He did so in a very effective and harsh way. He was able to relate all the rights given to men , such as freedom of speech, freedom of the press, etc, to abolitionism. He is best known for being a journalist who helped lead the successful abolitionist campaign against slavery in the US.
By: Rebecca, Louisa, Nathan