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Transcript of ABOLITIONIST MOVEMENT
Wanted a complete end to slavery, believed it was both immoral and bad for the US economy
Didn't simply want an end to slavery- they wanted Blacks to become a part of society, to have equal rights with all
This way of thinking was a precursor to the Woman's Suffrage Movement
Equal rights for all genders, cultures, religions
William Lloyd Garrison was one of the most uncompromising abolitionists of his day. He was completely unwilling to compromise on slavery. Slaveowners were evil and should not receive reimbursement for slaves freed by legislation. Abolition must be complete, immediate, and without compensation.
By 1860, nearly 11,000 blacks had gone to Liberia in West Africa, and helped found and build that country. But most blacks refused colonization, insisting that the U. S. was their home.
President James Monroe, Chief Justice John Marshall and House Speaker Henry Clay were supporters of the colonization movement. And even Southern slaveowners who rejected abolition often supported colonization of free blacks.
Later in life, Banneker surveyed the District of Colombia and contributed to the design of the capital city. He corresponded with Washington, Jefferson and others about the evils of slavery. But because of the increasing profitability of cotton production, Banneker and the Quakers were not able to influence many slave-owners.
Benjamin Banneker was a free black born in Maryland. A mathematician and astronomer, he published an almanac that rivaled Franklin's for accuracy, and John Adams cited Banneker's achievements as proof that intelligence is not a factor of skin color.
The first abolitionists were Quakers and free blacks. Quakers believed that all people had the same `spark of divinity,' making slavery immoral. Quakers were among the first to free their slaves. Some Quakers traveled the countryside urging slave-owners to free their slaves.
The Abolition Movement
At the risk of her own freedom and safety, Tubman returned to slave states nineteen time to guide other blacks to freedom.
Isabella Baumfree had been born a slave, and changed her name to Sojourner Truth when she became free. Although she was illiterate, Truth stood six feet tall and was a powerful speaker who sometimes in her speeches used songs she had composed.
He worked tirelessly with white politicians and social leaders throughout the 1840s and `50s, and beyond the Civil War. Until his death in 1895, Douglass spoke out on behalf of black equality, the rights of working people, and for the right of women to vote.
Frederick Douglass was the best orator, black or white, in the movement. He had escaped slavery as a youth, taught himself to read and write, and published his Autobiography in 1845. He disagreed with Garnett on the role of violence in abolition, but not on the degradations of slavery.
Garnett believed that any violence done by slaves in the act of freeing themselves was justified on the grounds of self defense. His stated believe was that it was better to die free than live as slaves.
Garnett was the more militant of the two, and as early as 1843 was calling for slaves to rise up against their owners and make themselves free.
In the North, free blacks could become involved in the abolition movement. Some black abolitionists had once been slaves themselves, and could tell of slavery's horrors based on personal experience.
Both women spoke out powerfully against slavery. Many conventional Americans were shocked by the idea of two women speaking out in public.
Weld published a collection of newspaper articles detailing the horrors of slavery under the title, “American Slavery As It Is.” Weld especially focused on southern accounts, in order to counter southern claims that slave abuse almost never occurred.
A more successful abolitionist was Theodore Dwight Weld. He tried to build a large antislavery movement by appealing to the consciences of Midwestern farmers and church groups.
“I am aware that many object to the severity of my language; but is there not cause for severity? I will be as harsh as truth, and as uncompromising as justice. On this subject I do not wish to think, or speak, or write, with moderation. . . I will not equivocate – I will not excuse – I will not retreat a single inch – and I WILL BE HEARD!”
-- William Lloyd Garrison
In the South, Garrison was despised as one who encouraged slaves to revolt. Copies of his antislavery newspaper “The Liberator” were banned, and a $5,000 reward was offered to anyone who would capture Garrison and bring him to Georgia to stand trial.
Garrison didn't care what other social or economic problems might be caused by immediate emancipation. His words were so extreme and so harsh that he alienated many people who might otherwise have supported his cause.
While they opposed slavery, they also believed that blacks and whites could not live together in harmony. Therefore, while they urged slaveowners to free their slaves, they also raised money to pay for the transportation of free blacks to West Africa.
In the 1820s, Benjamin Lundy urged southerners to free their slaves, and for the nation to help free blacks move to Haiti, Canada or Texas (which was still part of Mexico). Lundy tried to use persuasion on slave-owners rather than attacks and condemnation.
Before the early 1830s, slavery was discussed calmly. Since slavery was banned in the North, most of the early abolitionists were southerners.
Harriet Tubman was a runaway slave from Maryland. She aided the movement by working as a `conductor' on the Underground Railroad, an informal network of abolitionists who hid runaway slaves fleeing to Canada.
Black women such as Sojourner Truth and Harriet Tubman also played major roles in the antislavery movement.
Two leading black abolitionists were Henry Highland Garnett and Frederick Douglass. As rivals for black abolitionist leadership, they also demonstrated the divisions within the movement.
Weld was married to Angelina Grimke. She and her sister Sarah were from a slaveholding family in South Carolina, but had been converted to abolition by Quakers. Many conventional Americans were shocked by the idea of two women speaking out publicly against slavery.
In the 1820s, a large anti-slavery movement emerged, supported by southerners and represented by organizations such as the American Colonization Society.
The Second Great Awakening
A protestant Revival that peaked in the 1840's
It enrolled millions of new members in existing evangelical denominations and led to the formation of new denominations.
Many converts believed that the Awakening heralded a new millennial age.
The Second Great Awakening stimulated the establishment of many reform movements designed to remedy the evils of society before the anticipated Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
Slavery was seen as one of the "Evils" of society that needed to be reformed (changed)
This revival inspired slaves to demand their freedom.
The goal of the abolitionist movement was the immediate emancipation of all slaves and the end of racial discrimination and segregation.
Advocating for immediate emancipation distinguished abolitionists from more moderate anti-slavery advocates who argued for gradual emancipation, and from free-soil activists who sought to restrict slavery to existing areas and prevent its spread further west.
Radical abolitionism was partly fueled by the religious fervor of the Second Great Awakening, which prompted many people to advocate for emancipation on religious grounds.
Abolitionist ideas became increasingly prominent in Northern churches and politics beginning in the 1830s, which contributed to the regional animosity between North and South leading up to the Civil War.
Abolitionist Movement Overview
1. What is the root cause of slavery?
2. Why will buying slaves out of slavery never bring an end to it?