Abolitionism was the movement to set slaves free and end the slave trade. It took place from 1830-1870 and was highly debated between citizens and politicians, in the north and south. Abolitionism was promoted by the second great awakening, which prompted people to advocate for emancipation on religious grounds. This conflict contributed to the civil war between northern and southern states. This was ended by Lincoln with the passing of the emancipation proclamation in 1863, which freed all slaves in the United States.

The first picture depicts two men fighting, one from the north and one from the south. It shows how the country was divided over the issue of slavery and abolitionism.

The second picture shows Abraham Lincoln cutting down a tree labeled slavery. This shows that Lincoln wasn't afraid to outlaw slavery if he thought it was in the best interest for the country.

Primary source

I determined, at every hazard, to lift up the standard of emancipation in the eyes of the nation, within sight of Bunker Hill and in the birth place of liberty. That standard is now unfurled; and long may it float, unhurt by the spoliations of time or the missiles of a desperate foe — yea, till every chain be broken, and every bondman set free! Let southern oppressors tremble — let their secret abettors tremble — let their northern apologists tremble — let all the enemies of the persecuted blacks tremble.

[. . . ]

Assenting to the "self-evident truth" maintained in the American Declaration of Independence, "that all men are created equal, and endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights — among which are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness," I shall strenuously contend for the immediate enfranchisement of our slave population. In Park-street Church, on the Fourth of July, 1829, in an address on slavery, I unreflectingly assented to the popular but pernicious doctrine of gradual abolition. I seize this opportunity to make a full and unequivocal recantation, and thus publicly to ask pardon of my God, of my country, and of my brethren the poor slaves, for having uttered a sentiment so full of timidity, injustice and absurdity.


In this source we see Garrison writing a letter to the public on his thoughts about abolitionism. He talks about some of the reasons slaves should be free. He uses the constitution to back up his ideas. He points out where it says "all men are created equal" and "inalienable rights." All of these showing that the slaves are not being treated right and should be freed. He talks about how he used to think there should be gradual abolition but now disagrees completely and think they should be freed immediately.


First off, everyone should know that the abolitionist movements purpose, was to free all slaves and outlaw slavery in the United States. Abolitionism was caused by the peoples reaction to the constitution, and specifically how it states, "all men are created equal". Another cause for this movement was the second great awakening which made people believe that all people should have equality. Abolitionism eventually led to the civil war and the emancipation proclamation. Although the civil war was hurtful to the United States economy, equality was worth it in the long run. Also the outlaw of slavery changed the United states economy from primarily agriculture, to manufacturing. Some people that significantly contributed to this act, is Abraham Lincoln and James Birney. Lincoln helped create and pass the emancipation proclamation.  While everything was happening abolitionists decided to create a party known as the liberty party. This was a party advocating for freedom and James Birney was the president. This movement is similar to how women previously gained rights in order to teach their children. This was known as republican motherhood.

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