TheAbolitionist Movement: Rise and IntriguesTheAbolitionist Movement: Rise and Intrigues
Abolitionmovement marked the end of the slavery era in the United States. Theabolition movement was a campaign that was used by activists in theUnited States to free the black-Americans from the hands of the slavemasters. Some of the significant reasons as why slavery was notabolished in the United States at early stages were because ofpolitical, religious, and cultural standings. Slavery intensified inthe US mostly because of industrial and agricultural needs. There wasincreased need of slaves in the south to work in the agriculturalplantations during the era of slavery in the US.1The abolition movement was triggered by the increased humiliationthat the black Americans were undergoing through in the hands ofwhite slave masters. Slavery imposed black-Americans to torture inthe hands of the white Americans and therefore abolition was the onlymeasure that was to free the African-American from such kind ofdiscrimination.
The role of the abolition movement was to end the era of slave tradeand free the black-Americans free from slavery and racialdiscrimination. Even though the anti-slavery movements were many bythe mid-18th century, they had little impact on the centers ofslavery.2Massachusetts constitution nearly brought slavery to end, although atthat time there was no abolition law in the US. It was argued by manywhites that abolition movement threatened the existing harmonybetween the South and the North. The North was an industrializedregion, which did not require slaves while the South comprised manyplantations that supported agriculture. Large plantation requiredslaves to operate them and therefore, the slave masters in thisregion were against the abolition movement. The activists werelargely supported by the people from the Northern America both thewhites and the blacks. The biography of Frederick Douglass indicatesthat he led the people in the Northern America in ending slavery inthe US. Frederick Douglass together with the two brothers JohnLangston and Henry Langston contributed largely towards the freeingof the blacks and helped in the establishment of Ohio Anti-SlaverySociety in the US. The turning point of ending slavery in the US wasafter the victory of President Abraham Lincoln in 1860 who advocatedthe end of slavery to western parts of United States.3
The abolitionist movement demanded racial equality in the US inaddition to emancipation. The view that the African –American wereequal to the white-American was critical because racism was stillimmense even among the people in the North who were traditionallyagainst the slave trade in the country. The people from the North didnot support Peter William`s Demands to end prejudices and ensureequal privileges emancipation. They supported emancipation in the USnot because they wanted racial equality but because they thought thatslave trade was an unfair Southern advantage.4Most of the people in the North were against the abolition movementand were not ready for such a radical change imposed by theabolitionists towards ensuring racial equality in the US. 5
Both the movements for women`s rights and the abolition of the slavetrade were at the peak in the nineteen century. A few Christians wereconcerned with the way the slaves were treated in the US, but many ofthe whites started to question the compatibility of the abolitionmovement about Christianity. The activists started to call for slowbut steady emancipations, sometimes relating emancipation to therepatriation of the black-Americans in America. The movement gainedmomentum in the 1830s when the people in the Northern part of Americacalled for immediate emancipations in the country.6They got the support from the black activists like Frederick Douglasand the white religious radicals such as Lloyd Garrison, who led themission of ensuring that churches preach to their congregation aboutthe harm of slavery. Beecher`s novel "Uncle Tom`s, Cabinfacilitated the spread of the movement`s message through the creationof a sympathetic portrait of the troubled slaves.
The movement faced many challenges as it created major divisionsamong the Christians in America as the country moved towards CivilWar.7The Christians split along North/south lines in the mid-1840s overthe issue of whether a slave could hold the title of the bishop inthe church. The abolition movement never convinced most of thechurches to the explicit denunciation of the slave trade, and thecomplete emancipation was achieved as a result of Civil War. Despitethis, the church had a great role towards fighting against slavery inthe US. Churches provided an inspiration to their followers andensured that they respected the rights of every individual. Thesmaller number that was converted by the abolitionists supported themovement to a larger extent until it gained its popularity in the US.
Themovements that support racial equality, the rights of women, and theend of slavery grew as a result of a fusion between the Protestantmoral reform and the people`s ideals. Most of the women joined theabolition movements only to be excluded from slavery. The experiencethey gained from the abolition movement enabled the small number ofwomen to form the Women`s Rights Convention in 1845. Suffrage, one ofthe key objectives of the movement, was realized only with thepassage of the 19th Amendment in the 1990s. Women`s ordination wasanother key outgrowth of the movement.8
Frederick Douglass was one of the main activists that led to thesuccess of the abolition movement in the US. He wrote the books andother publications where he advised the black-Americans to useeducation to make their lives better. He assisted the black-Americansfound their freedom from slavery and ensured that the issue of racialequality was implemented in the US. Although the Underground Railroadshook him, his strong message to ensure that the black-Americansfound their freedom remained immense.9The abolition movement was one of an ethical argument. The likes ofFrederick Douglas felt that a large number of the slaves were beingmistreated and tortured by the white-Americans. The disgustingactivity of the individuals in the Southern part of the US pushed afew abolitionists to find out extreme measures to free the otherblack-Americans from the hands of the slave masters in the US.
As time passed by, several progressive movements were establishedduring the decades resulting in the American Civil War. Theabolitionists involved hoped to make essential transformations in theAmerican society, including expanding freedoms and rights to a largenumber of individuals in the US.10The movements created a strong message in the US towards ensuringthat people in the country obtained the desired rights that theydisserved. For instance, women involved in fighting for the rights ofslaves also started to connect their demands for freedom and equalrights to their own experiences and lives, advocating for educationto all people irrespective of their gender. The abolition movementalso shaped the women in such a way that it trained them to fight fortheir political and employment rights with the inclusion of suffrage.As time passed by, some divisions emerged over the issues of identityand gender. These were particularly over the function of women andthe individual of the black origin in the movements.11Some activists held more contemporary ideas on the function of womenin the society, claiming that were supposed to play a pivotalfunction in both the abolition movement and in the society at large.
Amore radical and progressive perspective of abolition maintained thatmoral standings and the rights of individuals were universal, andthat whether the individuals were of European or African descent,both women, and men, they required to be treated in the same mannerwithout being discriminated by others.
Even though women did not get their right to vote for politicalleaders, there was still success won for the activists in the periodthat led to Civil War. One of the achievement that women realized wasthat the New York State offered married women with the propertyrights they required just in the same way as the men. This period ledto the foundation of the suffrage campaigns, which was targeted tooccur in the early twentieth century.12
Becoming an abolitionist in the 1830s, an individual had to havecourage. Several people had to endure physical danger at the hands ofthe white-Americans, and many had to bear the disapproval, ridicule,criticism, and even violence from friends and family members or eventheir neighbors. All the abolitionists shared the vision of slaveryas ethically evil that could not be justified by the slave mastersand those who advocated slavery in the Southern region of the US. Theabolitionists argued that slavery was demeaning and that it deniedthe black-Americans their freedom and rights.13They continued arguing that both the black-Americans and the whiteswere equal and that race did not make one superior to the other. Mostof the Anti-abolitionists were from well-organized groups andmiddle-class people who believed that abolition movement threatenedtheir businesses and their communities. The anti-abolitionists werethe most type of people that caused disorders in the US at around1830s and 1840s.
The anti-slavery rank developed in the late 1830s and the early1840s. The issue of colonization in the US lost its supporters theNorthern people became less tolerant to the slave masters andabolition movement was linked with other types of movement. Theanti-slavery became more and more safe and won the support of themajority of people in the US. Women were also included in largenumbers in the anti-slavery campaigns. They used this as a platformto solve the issues that affected them in the American society. Mostof the women that endured sufferings were from the African origin.14
The Women`s rights movement was a result of the abolition movement.Several individuals actively supported both of the reforms in thesociety. Some of the participants of the First Women`s RightsConvention in 1848 had already worked hard to ensure the success ofthe anti-slavery organization, both the abolition movement and theWomen`s Rights Movement promoted the growth of the America promise ofequality and liberty. The movements had to ensure that both theblack-Americans and the women in the society had to get their libertyand equality. It was, therefore, the function of the abolitionists toensure that the most vulnerable individuals in the society gets theirfreedom just the same way as the individuals that are not prejudiced.15
Theproslavery arguments by the individuals in the Southern region of theUS tried to defend the rights to own the black-Americans as theslaves pointing out that a large number of civilizations in thetraditional America would turn the country to be greater in the sameway. Both the black and the white activists from the Northern regionof the United States of America supported the fight for the rights ofthe slaves and the weak in the society. It is only a small group ofpeople from the Northern part of the US especially those were againstthe end of the slavery and the realization of the rights of women inthe society. The activists took full charge of educating those thathad a negative opinion concerning the empowerment of the slaves andwomen in the society.16
Therewere no any strong religious arguments to justify that slave wasimportant in the society. The Southerners had their own perspectiveof supporting slavery in the US. They thought that the slaves werehappy working for their masters together with the family to the slavemasters. The southerners believed that the slaves did not require therights and the freedoms in their lives and therefore they supportedthis by the argument that the slaves were the happiest individuals inthe society at the hands of the white masters. The southerners alsoargued that the issue of slavery was essential for the slaves in thesociety.17The slave masters thought that the slaves did not have feelings likethe white natives from the southern region of the US.
The abolition movement took a long period in ensuring that the slavesin the US were treated in a similar manner as the white-Americans.Though the issue of racial discriminations has been difficult tosolve in the US, the steps that have been realized are remarkable.The abolition movement led to the establishment of other movementssuch as the Women`s Rights movement that have led to the empowermentof women in the American society. Women in the current America areripping the sweat of the abolition activists. In the current America,women can now hold political positions just like the men. Legal,political, and economic institutions have matured to a larger extentin the US. The black-Americans also have the same rights toparticipate democratically in the voting process so as to elect theirleaders.18
Collison,Gary L. "AlexanderBurton and Salem`s `Fugitive Slave Riot` of 1851."Essex Institute Historical Collections 128, no. 1 (1992): 17-26.
Douglas,Frederick. TheNarrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass.New York: Dover Publications, 1995.
Fitch,Suzanne Pullon. SojournerTruth as Orator:Wit, Story, and Song. (Great American Orators, no. 25). Westport,Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1997.
Goodman,Paul. Of One Blood: Abolitionismand the Origins of Racial Equality.Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998.
Hamilton,Virginia. Anthony Burns: TheDefeat and Triumph of a Fugitive Slave.Laurel Leaf, 1993. Grade 7 Up.
Holt,Thomas C. "African-AmericanHistory."The new American history (1997): 311-332.
Mullane,Deirdre, ed. Crossingthe Danger Water:Three Hundred Years of African-American Writing. New York: Doubleday(Anchor Books), 1993.
Quarles,Benjamin. Alliesfor Freedom and Blacks on John Brown.DaCapo Press, 2001.
Sterling,Dorothy. We are Your Sisters: BlackWomen in the Nineteenth Century.New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1984 [reissued 1997].
1 Holt, Thomas C. "African-American History." The new American history (1997): 311-332.
2 Goodman, Paul. Of One Blood: Abolitionism and the Origins of Racial Equality. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998.
3 Collison, Gary L. "Alexander Burton and Salem`s `Fugitive Slave Riot` of 1851." Essex Institute Historical Collections 128, no. 1 (1992): 17-26.
4 Douglas, Frederick. The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. New York: Dover Publications, 1995.
5 Mullane, Deirdre, ed. Crossing the Danger Water: Three Hundred Years of African-American Writing. New York: Doubleday (Anchor Books), 1993.
6 Goodman, Paul. Of One Blood: Abolitionism and the Origins of Racial Equality. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998.
7 Sterling, Dorothy. We are Your Sisters: Black Women in the Nineteenth Century. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1984 [reissued 1997].
8 Fitch, Suzanne Pullon. Sojourner Truth as Orator: Wit, Story, and Song. (Great American Orators, no. 25). Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1997.
9 Sterling, Dorothy. We are Your Sisters: Black Women in the Nineteenth Century. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1984 [reissued 1997].
10 Holt, Thomas C. "African-American History." The new American history (1997): 311-332.
11 Goodman, Paul. Of One Blood: Abolitionism and the Origins of Racial Equality. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998.
12 Mullane, Deirdre, ed. Crossing the Danger Water: Three Hundred Years of African-American Writing. New York: Doubleday (Anchor Books), 1993.
13 Douglas, Frederick. The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. New York: Dover Publications, 1995.
14 Collison, Gary L. "Alexander Burton and Salem`s `Fugitive Slave Riot` of 1851." Essex Institute Historical Collections 128, no. 1 (1992): 17-26.
15 Goodman, Paul. Of One Blood: Abolitionism and the Origins of Racial Equality. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998.
16 Douglas, Frederick. The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. New York: Dover Publications, 1995.
17 Collison, Gary L. "Alexander Burton and Salem`s `Fugitive Slave Riot` of 1851." Essex Institute Historical Collections 128, no. 1 (1992): 17-26.
18 Hamilton, Virginia. Anthony Burns: The Defeat and Triumph of a Fugitive Slave. Laurel Leaf, 1993. Grade 7 Up.