Abolitionism was an anti-slavery movement that was advocating for the end of slavery among people of African origin. This was in accordance to the national value on personal freedom and the belief that all men were created equal. This institution was started at the colonial times but gained momentum during the early 19th century as the victims of slavery and its critics hardened their views on its eradication and took a firm stand from gradualism (Bruce & Foner, 1992). The abolition movement grew and became formally organized became a threat to the Northern mill owners and the southern planters. The early abolitionist movements stirred during the revolution and were among Quakers. This was due to the increased loathing of the blacks and the movement major focus was returning the blacks back to Africa. This resulted in the formation of the republic of Liberia in Africa in the year 1822 were rescued slaves were to be deployed. Slaves were transported to this new nation where they were safe from further exploitation or slavery from the whites (Feross, 2012). However, some slaves were not willing to be deported to the new civilization. Their refusal to come to Africa resulted in their recognition as native born African Americans with their own history and culture.
The abolitionism movements changed notably in the 1830s where they took new energy and momentum; this is when they mounted big crusades against slavery. However, it was in 1833 that American abolitionist were favored after the British unchained their slaves in the West Indies. The movement gained more support from religion as religious leaders such as Theodore Dwight Weld preached about antislavery and said it is a sin. The mo9vement became radical in 1831when William Lloyd Garrison published an antislavery newspaper called The Liberator. In 1833, Garrison and others formed the American Anti-Slavery Society. Black abolitionist also played a part with David Walk’s publication of 1829, Appeal to the Colored Citizens of the World advocating for the end of the whites supremacy. In his publication, Walk called on the blacks to rise against their white masters and defend themselves (Bruce & Foner, 1992). The abolitionists such as Garrison were against these radical movements and therefore founded The Liberator newspaper. He adopted a militant tone and demanded the end of slavery without compensation to the slave owners. He also was for the inclusion of women in the liberation process a stand that was resented by many (Feross, 2012). However in 1840, he included a female member and the result was the split of the American Anti-Slavery Society. Majority of the members felt that women had no equal rights as men to vote or debate and occupy public offices. Black’s uprisings were characterized by riots as witnessed in cities on the north and the south. In 1831, the Nat Turners Rebellion occurred in the south and, consequently, new regulations against slaves were passed in Virginia.
The planters responded against the abolition movement in various ways. Since their security was t6hreatened, most of them kept pistols at the arm length for security measures. The slave states stiffened their slave codes and prohibited any kind of emancipation. Since Garrison was seen as a terrorist due to his continued support of the slaves, the state offered a sum of $5000 for his arrest (Bruce & Foner, 1992). A positive response, however, was needed to enhance security and productivity. The whites allowed religion in the slave quarters in order to establish family-like slave–master relationships. The slaves working condition were improved from the dark and stuffy factories to sunlight and fresh air. They were also provided with social security forms which ensured that they were taken care of when sick and in old age. However, the abolitionist movement continued to publish anti-slavery articles which displeased the whites (Feross, 2012). As a result, in 1835, the Washington government ordered the destruction of all abolitionist materials and the arrest of postmasters who did not comply.
Levine, Bruce C, and Eric Foner. Half Slave and Half Free: The Roots of Civil War. New York: Hill and Wang, Noonday Press, 1992. Print
Aboukhadijeh, Feross. "Chapter 16: The South and the Slavery Controversy, 1793-1860" StudyNotes.org. StudyNotes, Inc., 17 Nov. 2012. Web. 14 Feb. 2014. <//www.apstudynotes.org/us-history/outlines/chapter-16-the-south-and-the-slavery-controversy-1793-1860/>.