By: Lindsey and Rachel
The goal of the Abolitionist movement was to end slavery. Moderate anti-slavery advocates wanted the slaves to be gradually emancipated, while free-soil activists wanted to restrict slavery to existing areas and prevent its spread further west. This movement was an effect of the Second Great Awakening, which inspired many people to support emancipation on religious grounds. Abolitionist ideas were very prominent in Northern churches and politics, which contributed to the regional tension between the North and the South leading to the American Civil War.
“I am a believer in that portion of the Declaration of American Independence in which it is set forth, as among self evident truths, “that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Hence, I am an abolitionist. Hence, I cannot regard oppression in every form – and most of all, that which turns a man into a thing – with indignation and abhorrence.”
-W. L. Garrison
William Lloyd Garrison was one of the most prominent abolitionists. He was founder and publisher of the antislavery newspaper, “The Liberator,” and wanted to express his feelings about slaves and how he agrees with the portion of the Declaration of Independence stating, "that all men are created equal..." He believed that slavery should be emancipated and he would express that through the American Anti-Slavery Society, which he founded, by conversing with others that agreed with his beliefs about the abolitionist movement.
This event was a by-product of religious revivalism, also known as, the Second Great Awakening. The revivalists led the abolitionists to believe that slavery is a personal sin and slaves should be emancipated as the price of guilt. An economic effect was that the North was industrialized and had not need for slavery, but the South's economy was based on agriculture, specifically cotton, which made the southern's dependent on slave labor. This made it harder for the South to accept the emancipation of slaves. People were now having to compete with the freed blacks for employment. A long range significance of this movement was the end of slavery, but tension grew between anti-slavery and pro-slavery people, which led to many laws and abolitionist groups, and also the civil war.
Frederick Douglass was a runaway slave, a supporter of women's rights, and one of the most prominent abolitionist rights leader. Lucretia Mott was one of the leading voices of the abolitionist movement and she shared her anti-slavery beliefs with the Female Anti-Slavery Society. William Loyd Garrison was a very prominent and uncompromising abolitionist. He published The Liberator, which was an anti-slavery newspaper during this movement that expressed the views of those who wanted slaves to be emancipated.