Essay on Abolitionist Movement
Initiators of the major restructuring of public institutions (schools, prisons, and hospitals) connected the plight of the country to the lack of social welfare. However, a popular movement for reform comprised other two directions, which supporters saw the root of evil in the greatest social injustice, which for decades was exercised against two large groups of Americans – women and black slaves.
At the turn of the century, abolitionists main concern was a devastating impact that slavery system had on the white members of society. As a workaround, American Colonization Society suggested a stepwise emancipation of slaves with compensation to their owners and further eviction released slaves over the United States border. However, free black Americans rejected this solution, by insisting on the immediate release of slaves and giving them equal rights within the U.S.
In the early 1830s, African-American abolitionist calls were picked up by white reformers. William Lloyd Garrison, who in 1831 began to publish The Liberator newspaper to combat slavery, was one of the most prominent figures of the abolitionist movement. Two years later he founded the American Anti-Slavery Society.
Garrison, Lydia Maria Child, Frederick Douglass, Angelina Grimke and others urged compatriots to show sympathy for the “black brothers” to end the absolute omnipotence of slaveholders and eradicate this terrible evil of American life. The United States must finally become a state of welfare, equality, and freedom. This is the only sure way of consequential Americans fight for their independence. To show weakness and deviate from the intended path is tantamount to betrayal of democratic principles. This would mean that the nation was defeated in the war against tyranny, corruption, and inhumanity. Abolitionists have emphasized the connection of their struggle with the revolutionary ideals of the past, originated at the epoch of the American state foundation.
Abolitionist movement united the quarter of a million residents of the northern states. To promote their ideas they used different methods: the spread of numerous pamphlets and treatises, public speaking, economic boycotts and appeals to Congress. However, not all northerners shared the views of the abolitionists. Their persistent struggle faced stiff resistance in the same northern states. They were confronted by angry crowds of anti-abolitionists often headed by “noble, wealthy gentlemen.” In turn, the southerners simply forbade spreading the abolitionist literature via the mail and other channels. In 1836, the House of Representatives approved the policy of plugging the mouths: the debate on this issue have been banned, and all petitions against slavery fighters have been swept under the carpet.
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