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The Abolition Movement Of The 1850´S

946 words - 4 pages

In the 1850’s the abolition movement was successful in ensuring that at least part of their message reached mainstream politics. Historian Herbert Aphtheke argued that there existed three major philosophies amongst abolitionist; moral suasion moral suasion with political action and finally, resistance through physical action . While abolitionist such as William Lloyd Garrison exercised the philosophy of moral suasion, others such as Frederick Douglas and Gerrit Smith shifted their thinking to include all three philosophies. Meetings were held of the National Negro Conventions centred on the burning question; how can anyone use moral suasion and the political system to bring an end to ...view middle of the document...

The Party was made up of former Free-Soilers, Northern anti-slavery Whigs and Know-Nothings, the Party was also completely sectional, drawing supporters exclusively from the Free states in the North and West. The new Republican Party did remarkably well in the 1856 Presidential Elections, their nominee John C. Fremont took 39% of the popular vote from the North and West, losing to Democrat nominee James Buchanan.

In March 1857, the United States Supreme Court, led by Chief Justice Taney, declared that all blacks – slaves as well as free – were not and could never become citizens of America and therefore could not sue in Federal Court. The case before the Court was that of Dred Scott v Sanford. The U.S. Supreme Court held that Dred Scot, despite living in a free state, was still a slave. However, Judge Roger Taney went further and attempted to settle the slavery issue once and for all. Taney ruled that black people “had more than a century before been regarded as beings of an inferior order, and altogether unfit to associate with the white race, either in social or political relations; and so far inferior that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect and that the negro might justly and lawfully be reduced to slavery for his benefit”. The Court also found the 1820 Missouri Compromise unconstitutional – permitting slavery in all of America. While the decision was well-received by slaveholders in the South, many Northerners were outraged. The Dred Scott decision convinced even more people that the Slave Power Conspiracy was in all parts of the Government; the president, Congress and the Supreme Court.
The year 1860 was marked by a strengthening in the abolitionist movement and fear among some Southerners that their way of life was about to change. In the 1860 Presidential Election, James Buchanan happily stepped aside but not before his ruling Democratic Party was fatally...

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