The Crusade Against Slavery

  • Published on

  • View

  • Download

Embed Size (px)


The Crusade Against Slavery. Chapter 12. Early Opposition to Slavery. In the early 19th century opposition to slavery was genteel. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


The Crusade Against Slavery

The Crusade Against SlaveryChapter 12Early Opposition to SlaveryIn the early 19th century opposition to slavery was genteel. In 1817 the American Colonization Society formed. It was made up of Virginians who wanted manumission & transportation out of country but also to maintain property rights by compensating the slaveholderIn 1830 Liberia became a test case but it failed because not enough private & state funding was provided & too many slaves made it impossible. Opposition also existed from 3rd/4th generation Africans far removed from society.

Early OppositionBy 1830 the movement lost strength.Colonization was not viable as the cotton boom in the Deep South & planter commitment to the peculiar institution led to a dead end.Garrison & AbolitionWilliam Lloyd Garrison was employed by an antislavery newspaper (Genius of Universal Emancipation), but became impatient with its moderate tone & reform proposals.

In 1831 he founded his own called The Liberator. Garrison believed we should look from the black perspective not in terms of damage to white society. He called for a rejection of gradualism & to extend African Americans full rights of American citizens.

Garrison & AbolitionGarrison gained a Northern following & founded the New England Antislavery Society in 1832. A year later it transformed into the American Antislavery Society where membership grew rapidly.

Abolition grew because like other reform movements it committed to unleashing the individual human spirit & eliminated artificial social barriers.

Black AbolitionistsAbolitionism appealed to Northern free blacks who were poor, had little access to education, were exposed to mob violence, & only had access to menial occupations.

Many realized their own position in society was tied to the existence of slavery.

David Walker came to be a leader with violent rhetoric, but most leaders were less violent. Sojourner Truth became antislavery spokesperson.

The greatest & most famous abolitionist Frederick Douglass escaped slavery & lectured in New England. His newspaper, the North Star, & his autobiography, The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass (1845), demanded not only freedom but also social & economic equality.

Anti-AbolitionismWhite southerners opposed abolition, but also many in the North saw abolition as a threat to the social system, feared war between sections of the country, & an influx of blacks to the North.

Escalating violence against abolitionists in the 1830s occurred. The abolitionist headquarters Temple of Liberty in Philadelphia was burned by a mob.

Despite opposition the movement grew, suggesting members were strong-willed & passionate with great courage and moral strength. The majority sentiment was ambivalence to slavery.

Abolition DividedBy the 1830s abolitionists faced serious internal strains & divisions. Prompted as a result of anti-abolitionist violence some began to favor moderation. The radicalism of William Garrison fully opposed slavery & called for full equality for women as well as for northern disunion from South. Moderates called for moral suasion of slaveholders, later political action.

In 1839 the Amistad case strenghthened abolition. A slave ship was seized by the US Navy trying to return to Africa. The U.S. Supreme Court in 1841 declared the Africans free.

In the 1842 case Prigg v. Pennsylvania the court ruled states need not enforce the 1793 law requiring the return of fugitive slaves. Personal liberty laws in northern states forbade officials to assist in the capture & return of runaways.

Abolition DividedGroups pressured the federal government to abolish slavery in areas of their jurisdiction & to prohibit the interstate slave trade. No abolition political party was ever formed but the free-soil movement to keep slaves out of newly formed territories became popular.

The most powerful abolitionist propaganda was Harriet Beecher Stowes Uncle Toms Cabin(1851) It was a sentimental novel combined with political ideas of the abolitionist movement. It was a story of good, kindly blacks victimized by the cruel slavery system. It brought a message to a new audience, but also inflamed sectional tensions to a new level.