Abolitionist Movement Facts

Abolitionist Movement Facts
During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, there were monumental shifts in the world order pertaining to politics, economics, and society in general. The Age of Exploration that began in the sixteenth century transitioned into the Colonial Age in the seventeenth century. During this period, European colonial powers began exploiting the natural resources of the Americas, which required a large pool of human labor. In order to get the labor required, Europeans began taking slaves from Africa and bringing them to the Americas to work primarily in the warmer regions to work in labor intensive agriculture such as cotton, indigo, sugar, and tobacco. The eighteenth century saw the movement known as the Enlightenment take hold in Europe, which promoted ideas such as freedom and equality among others. Although many Enlightenment thinkers did not believe that those ideas applied to Africans, many others thought they did and so by the late eighteenth century the idea of "abolitionism" or the abolishment of slavery began to take hold.
Interesting Abolitionist Movement Facts:
Among the most ardent supporters of abolitionism were members of the Religious Society of Friends, more commonly known as the Quakers.
The first official abolitionist group in the American colonies was The Society for the Relief of Free Negroes Unlawfully Held in Bondage, which was formed by Quakers in 1775.
James Oglethorpe, the founder of the colony of Georgia, was one of the first people to bring abolitionist ideas to the Americas in the mid-eighteenth century.
After the American Revolution, most of the northern states officially abolished slavery, making them the first governments in the Americas to do so.
Importation of slaves into the United States was banned in 1808.
The United Kingdom abolished slavery in its empire with the Slavery Abolition Act of 1833.
In 1833, abolitionist icon William Lloyd Garrison founded the American Anti-Slavery Society (AASS).
Freedman Frederick Douglass was a notable member and frequent speaker for the AASS.
By the middle of the eighteenth century, the abolitionist movement began to overlap in its mission and membership with the temperance and women's suffrage movements.
Women's suffrage leaders Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton were also ardent abolitionists.
The best selling novel Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852), by Harriet Beecher Stowe, was an abolitionist tome that helped sway public opinion in the north against slavery.
Abolitionists were often subject to violence, especially in the border states.
The murder of abolitionist Elijah Lovejoy by a pro-slavery mob in Alton, Illinois in 1837 became a rallying cry for abolitionists and Lovejoy became a martyr in their cause.
Although most abolitionists were peaceful in their methods, perhaps owing to their Quaker background, some, such as John Brown, decided to pursue violence to end slavery.
Modern historians draw a line between abolitionists and anti-slavery activists. For instance, the Free Soil Party of the mid-nineteenth century opposed the expansion of slavery into the west but was not against the institution of slavery in the south, therefore it was not an abolitionist party.

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