Abolitionism

"All men are created equal"

Abolitionism is defined as a movement to end the African slave trade and set slaves free. After the American Revolution, when the United States had been established, northern states, beginning with Pennsylvania in 1780, passed legislation during the next two decades abolishing slavery. In 1807, as president, Thomas Jefferson signed the Act Prohibiting Importation of Slaves. In 1808, the United States criminalized the international slave trade. The Abolitionist Movement in North America was led by social reformers, especially William Lloyd Garrison, founder of the American Anti-Slavery Society. In 1863, President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which freed slaves held in the Confederate states in territory not already under Union Army control. The 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution took effect in December 1865 and finally ended slavery throughout the United States.

Emblem used by various abolition societies
William Lloyd Garrison, publisher of the abolitionist newspaper The Liberator and one of the founders of the American Anti-Slavery Society

Primary Source- Benjamin Franklin

“Slavery is such an atrocious debasement of human nature, that its very extirpation, if not performed with solicitous care, may sometimes open a source of serious evils. The unhappy man who has been treated as a brute animal, too frequently sinks beneath the common standard of the human species. The galling chains, that bind his body, do also fetter his intellectual faculties, and impair the social affections of his heart… To instruct, to advise, to qualify those, who have been restored to freedom, for the exercise and enjoyment of civil liberty… and to procure for their children an education calculated for their future situation in life; these are the great outlines of the annexed plan, which we have adopted."
[For the Pennsylvania Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery, 1789]”
Benjamin Franklin, Writings




Fun Facts!

As late as 1827, the number of antislavery organizations in the slave states outnumbered those in free states by at least four to one.

The first time the word "slavery" appeared in the U.S. Constitution was in the Thirteenth Amendment in 1865.


Comment Stream