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Liberty In Liberia Essay

2049 words - 9 pages

For half of a century before the American civil war, there were many movements in the United States to eliminate the dependency upon slavery for a strong southern economy. The arguments ranged from the humanitarian to the economic but little actual success achieved until we reached that bloody point in American history. The conscience of a nation was tested by the dichotomy of “all men are created equal” when placed against the atrocity of enslaving another human. The pressure was intense since the majority of the remaining world had already taken definitive actual steps toward the eradication of human trafficking. Leading this movement was the England and its establishment of the colony ...view middle of the document...

Lastly, I will reflect on the possible perspectives of freed slaves themselves and attempt to determine if the idea of “back to Africa” appealed to a broad base

Shortly after the revolutionary war, US Congress passed several edicts that dealt with international slave trade and how the United States approached it. Among these Acts were prohibitions on American citizens engaging in slave trade and others eliminated the legality for importation of news slaves. Even with these milestones in the books, slavery on American soil was legal from a federal standpoint up until the 1860’s. Almost immediately following our own independence, societies were starting to form around the notion that slaves would eventually be free and need a place to be relocated. This common institutionalized racism was concurrently demonstrated with the treatment of the Native American population. It was socially acceptable to drive them off the land for the needs of the nation.
These societies stimulated the debate that the best thing for black people would be to send them “back to Africa.” Even though the majority of slaves at the time were generational and have never seen nor had any desire to see the continent of Africa. They were also eager to finance the re-settlement of freed slaves to facilitate the process. The earliest chartered society was the American Colonization Society (ACA), chartered in the latter half of 1816, with the goal to resettle free black Americans into West Africa. The foundation of multiple colonization societies followed, with focus on slaves, Native Americans, but the largest and most noteworthy was the ACA because of its impressive list of board members and recorded successes with lobbying congress. In retrospect, the origin locations of the societies lend credence to the altruistic intentions from the north and less savory intentions from those in the south.
The councils and committees formed in the southern states were around ideas of fear or resentment, and if the goals were around removing the most troublesome slaves from the mix and sending them somewhere they could not infect other slaves with notions of freedom. Other reasons for southern societies included a religious undertone, an attempt to receive absolution in the eyes of the church, or at least the churches that proclaimed equality for all men
In the US Congress, many debates were held before the American people decided that officially backing and financially supporting a ‘back-to-Africa’ initiative was in order. Transcripts of these discussions lend credence the various motivations behind colonization. numerous representatives argued that the colonization of ‘free people of color’ had a distinct legal definition and was different from the emplacements of settlements, territories and ‘colonies’ by the white immigrant population that laid the foundation for the USA’s territorial growth and expansion. The consensus is that the rapidly expanding American empire to the west was...

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