This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Slavery: Religious Justification And Abolition Essay

1844 words - 8 pages

What role did religion play in the justification and abolition discourses that emerged in the nineteenth century in both the Antebellum South and the Ottoman Empire?
Religion played an important role in the discourse used to justify as well as challenge slavery in both the Ottoman Empire and the Antebellum South. These two slave societies deployed Islam and Christianity respectively in the slavery rhetoric that emerged as early as the eighteenth century and continued to reinterpret the scripture overtime to support one side or the other.
Abolitionist impulse in America arose from Jefferson’s idea of enlightenment, which called for religious reawakening. Northern Quakers and evangelists pushed for this religious revivalism in hopes of undoing what they termed the “greatest sin ever committed against the will of God”. In the early nineteenth century the evangelical abolition movement emerged along with the formation of “abolition churches.” According to John Mckivigan, the American abolitionist movement emerged “during the 1930s as a by-product of the upsurge of revivalism popularly known as the Second Great Awakening.” This meant a harsh critique of slavery using Christian rhetoric that dubbed slavery a “personal sin…that required immediate and complete repentance in the form of emancipation” Christianity here came to hold masters morally accountable for participating in sin. Before the emergence of the abolitionist movement in the U.S., only a few small churches critiqued the evil and inhumane nature of slavery. Yet, small denominational churches, such as the Quakers, resisted enslavement using Christian teachings. They argued that to win God’s favor, Christianity needed to return to “its original form untainted by the principle of slavery.” Here the Quakers deploy Christianity as a humane institution that argues for equity, meaning that slavery was deemed a sin.
However, not all churches believed slavery was a sin; there were obvious divisions on their stance on slavery. From the early nineteenth century, we see a split between different denominational churches on the question of slavery and abolition. For instance, Methodist and Baptist churches took opposite stances on whether slavery was permissible in Christianity. Abolition fragmented the Churches within the South and between the South and North. The Methodist Churches for instance took an abolitionist stance whereas the Baptist Church vehemently stood by its pro-slavery stance. Proslavery ministers assembled elaborate justification of slavery citing passages from the Bible. It was within this already existing split that the nineteenth century evangelical abolitionist movement emerged leading to the formulation of “abolition churches.” Defenders of the establishment of the slave system in the American South argued that slavery was a “positive good” as long as slaves were Christianized.
Furthermore, both Northern and Southern states used the Bible as a weapon in their argument...

Find Another Essay On Slavery: Religious Justification and Abolition

How Supporters Of Slavery Used Legal, Religious, And Economic Arguments To Defend The Institution

1657 words - 7 pages concluded that emancipation would cause a race war and were therefore against any sort of abolition of slavery . This is why the supporters of slavery used legal, religious, and economic-2-arguments to defend the institution, they were simply accustomed to the lifestyle slavery provided for them and they weren't going to let it go without a fight.The supporters of slavery knew how to defend the institution well, especially when it came to legal rights

The American Revolution’s Effect on the Institution of Slavery

912 words - 4 pages theory. A letter written by Phillis Wheatley to a Reverend exemplifies this justification for abolition. The letter expressed appreciation for the Reverend’s abolitionist views, but also compared the current situation to those of the Israelites when the Egyptians enslaved them. A parallel to the Bible furthered the view for many that slavery was unjust. This combination of Enlightenment ideals of natural rights and newfound religious narratives

Abolition of Slavery in the United States

1270 words - 6 pages 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

What was the importance of religion in ending the slave trade

1858 words - 8 pages abolition. (Book 4, p.85–111). The Enlightenment definition of slavery and slave trade would have added to the argument for the abolition of the slave trade (Anthology 4.4, p.) this document would have drawn on a person’s religious morality and human nature. It must be mentioned by ending the slave trade it enabled Britain to keep territories captured in the Napoleonic War. Evidence was another crucial element on gaining ground to abolition of the

The History of the Rise

2717 words - 11 pages In 1808, Thomas Clarkson published his two-volume text, The History of the Rise, Progress and Accomplishment of the Abolition of the African Slave Trade by the British Parliament, after the prolonged campaign to abolish the slave trade in the British Empire. Within this text, Clarkson inserted his own map of the path to abolition, consisting of the efforts by prominent intellectuals, politicians, and religious organizations. This essay will

The Ignition of the Civil War

1143 words - 5 pages political differences, leading to the Civil War. Social unrest, aided by the abolition movement, increased the debate over slavery as America obtain new lands from the Mexican-American War. This resulted in the passing of the Compromise of 1850 and the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which will result in failure. The failure of the compromises proved the nation could not function as one, resulting to the justification of the Southern Secession; war was inevitable. The Mexican-American War acted as the oil, while the abolition movement, the Compromise of 1850, and the Kansas-Nebraska Act provided the spark to ignite the fire that was the Civil War.


1481 words - 6 pages began to lose faith the gradual abolition would be work, and for moral reasons alone there was no alternative to immediate abolition. But to completely understand how emancipation was possible we must acknowledge the Great Reform Act of 1832. As Slavery and Freedom mentions the Great Reform Act ‘transformed the political terrain’ (…). As a result, the enlarged electorate included the critics of the slave trade, such as non-conformists. This gave the

Holy Warriors: The Abolitionists and American Slavery

542 words - 2 pages form. During the Great Revivals, people dreamed of a glorious era of a nation without liquor, prostitution, atheism, and popular politics. The effect of revivalism on the ministry was important to abolitionism because it had become a profession. Young people were attracted to aid in abolition of slavery. It was stated that abolitionism was a revolt of youth raised by old New England families. The parents of abolitionists were usually well

Nat Turner: Right or Wrong? (We had to read up on the case of Nat Turner's Rebellion and decide whether her was right or wrong, and argue our points)

1273 words - 5 pages essay by Thomas R. Dew, "Abolition of Slavery", printed in September and again in December 1832. According to Dew, slaves are a "people colour and in habits, and vastly inferior in the scale of civilization". Dew echoed the sentiments of the pro-slavery planters, saying that the very idea of abolition was "pregnant with mischief", and that "rash and hasty action threatens...the whole southern country with irremediable ruin" . This

Criticisms of the Constitution and their Legitimacy

1579 words - 7 pages Constitution supreme over the nation, and those condemning specific parts and clauses of the document itself. Both criticisms based on the view that the Constitution is pro-slavery and those arguing against the nationalist nature of the document are unfounded. One major criticism of the details of the Constitution stems from its inclusion of slavery. William Lloyd Garrison, a Massachusetts abolitionist and writer of The Liberator, argued that the

Reform Movements

964 words - 4 pages reform movement converted the antislavery movement into the abolition movement thus supported the democratic sentiment of 'all men are created equal'. Great abolitionists like William Lloyed Garrison and Fredrick Douglass asked for the emancipation of slavery. Some abolitionists called for slave rebellion. Garnet appealed to the slaves to strike for their lives and liberties. " Rather die freeman, than live to be slaves" was his cry.Document C

Similar Essays

Frederick Douglass And The Abolition Of Slavery

748 words - 3 pages Frederick Douglass and the Abolition of Slavery There were many influential people who fought for the abolition of slavery in the 1800s. Among these people are Harriet Tubman, William Lloyd Garrison, and our sixteenth president, Abraham Lincoln. Frederick Douglass is one of these people. As a former slave, Frederick Douglass believed he could not enjoy his freedom while the rest of his people suffered under the burden of slavery. Therefore

The Abolition Of Slavery And The Slave Trade"

2220 words - 9 pages poetry by Ann Cromartie Yearsley and William Cowper.Memoirs written by former slave traders and slaves supplied some of the most touching testimony favoring the abolition of slavery. One such work, The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, written by former slave Olaudah Equiano, immediately became an international bestseller. Through Equiano's eyes, the reader sees the inhumanity of the white slave traders, the violence inflicted

European Abolition Of Slavery: The Legacy Of Literature, Media, And Censorship

1065 words - 5 pages well endorsed far earlier than the French, so Britain abolished slavery before France. It can be argued that non-conformist religious groups like the Quakers caused the abolition of slavery, as Roger A. Bruns argues, and this reason is valid; nevertheless, no abolition movement would have been successful just because of religious groups. Moreover, Quakers and other non-conformist religious groups needed widespread media, literature, free press, and

John Woolman And The Abolition Of Slavery

1148 words - 5 pages John Woolman was born in a Quaker family in New Jersey and lived from 1720-1772. In 1756 he began to write his journal where he spoke out in a piece entitled "Some Consideration on the Keeping of Negroes". His writing is exceptional because of the simplicity and lure. Woolman's attraction is his clear motive and sympathy toward the African-Americans. I will maintain in this paper that the Quakers, and specifically the abolitionist