American Abolitionism Essay

1767 words - 8 pages

Dr. Stanley Harrold is an American Historian of the 19th century. Harrold is a professor at South Carolina State University where he teaches history. Harrold is a well-known scholar that has written numerous informative books and journals. Harrold wrote American Abolitionists and it was published in the year 2001.
Harrold provides insight into worldwide slavery and abolitionist studies. Major themes are seen throughout all nine chapters such as, early abolitionists, rebellions, women abolitionists, the second great awakening, anti-slavery associations, the biracial characteristics of the movement, the civil war, emancipation, and the social and racial consciousness among races post war. This book was written to educated students that history changes over time, with new documents, new types of elucidation, and new social and racial understandings.
Harrold makes it clear that slavery existed in a broad variety of forms throughout the world since ancient times. In some early civilizations slaves served as domestic servants, concubines, wives, soldiers, teachers, and agricultural workers. Slaves were people of many races who lost their rights as a consequence of war or religious discrimination. As slavery declined in Europe bondage continued to prosper in Africa. During the fifteenth century “West African warfare and European expansion merged and a new brutal dehumanizing form of slavery came to existence” As a result of the trade between Africa and the Americas, slavery was part of a broader Atlantic system that developed into its antebellum form over time. African Americans endured the brutalities of the slavery and bondage for centuries and abolitionism did not emerge until the eighteenth century.
According to the textbook the Abolitionist movement was sparked by riots, revolts, and rebellions. In 1676 eight men fought with Nathaniel Bacon in a failed attempt to overthrow Virginia’s slaveholding land gentry. In 1712 in New York City about thirty-five enslaved Africans and American-Indians rioted. White enforcements abolished these riots and brutally convicted those that participated; in hopes of teaching others that this type of behavior would not be tolerated. Early slave rebellions helped influence some white Americans that it was better to progressively abolish slavery than continuously to experience uprisings.
According to Harrold in the North slaveholders exercised economic power due to staple crops and cotton. Slaveholders accounted for a large number of members in Congress and dominated the Supreme Court. Whereas, early antislavery whites were members of the Society of Friends otherwise known as Quakers. Quaker abolitionists included Benjamin Lay, John Woolman, and Anthony Benezet; they all sought to persuade other Quakers to stop buying and selling slaves and cease all connections with slavery. They contended that slaveholding was conflicting with Christianity morality. Abolitionists of this generation faced a substantial resistance...

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