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Abolition Of Slavery In The United States

1270 words - 6 pages

In the United States, slavery was abolished very gradually and in most cases one state at a time. The issue of slavery has been debated for America since the very beginning of the founding of the country. At the time America became an independent country of British control, some wanted to end slavery and others who owned large plantations wanted to continue because they were making a large profit. The end of slavery started by the abolishment of the Transatlantic Slave trade in 1808 in the United States because there was no need economically to import slaves because slave families were reproducing children. The eventual end of slavery started with the Civil War. The Emancipation ...view middle of the document...

Such organizations generally evoked reactions ranging from gentle amusement to harsh scorn and even violent assault. When people bothered to give reasons for opposing the proposed abolition, they advanced various ideas. Some people said that slavery was a natural part of society and God approved; others proposed that without their masters, slaves would not survive. Another reason was that it was economically necessary. At one time in the United States history these ideas were enough to rationalize slavery as an institution, but as abolitionists ideas became heard the end of slavery became closer and closer.
-The people in the North weren’t all against slavery, but they just didn’t need slaves.
One factor of the abolition of slavery was on moral grounds. In the North, religious organizations, were actively campaigning for the abolition of slavery and had effectively forced emancipation on a gradual basis in all the northern states by 1804. Abolitionists in the North wrote books, published newspapers spreading their ideas about slavery, and often assisted slaves to freedom when they ran away from their masters. Southerners believed that abolitionists were attacking their way of life and that the government was not doing enough to protect their "property" from running away. The slaves were escaping to the North and not being returned to their masters.
An American by the name of William Garrison published the abolitionist newspaper The Liberator in 1831 set the tone for the ending of slavery with his moral and Christian position. The newspaper became unpopular for its uncompromising advocacy of immediate and complete emancipation of all slaves in the United States. When writing about the subject of abolition Garrison did “not wish to think, or speak, or write, with moderation (Engerman p.436).” For Garrison, the abolition of slavery was not political. He believed that politics involved compromise and the matter of slavery was an absolute moral view that slavery should be ended. He believed religious people were hypocrites for being complacent on slavery and not being part of his movement. In the North a minority amount of the people agreed with him, but was not completely convinced by his radical rhetoric. The Northern population openly opposed the ending of slavery because they thought if the African Americans were freed, (it would be like letting animals out of the zoo). This idea stemmed in the North because they had very limited interaction with African Americans and which resulted in bigotry and prejudices against African Americans.
The ending slavery threatened the South’s cheap labor supply and some of America’s leading industries. As the economy was changing from mercantilism to capitalism, the reasons of slavery being economically necessary became obsolete. A West Indie Scholar, Eric Williams wrote Capitalism and...

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