This Abolitionist Movement
This abolitionist movement first emerged in the 1930’s expressing on the religious values that slavery was an unmatched wickedness that counteracted the ethics dedicated in the Declaration of Independence. As Frederick Douglass declared, Only by abolishing slavery and freeing the great doctrines’ of the Declaration of Indepence from the narrow bounds’ of race could the United states recapture its original mission.(Foner 462).
This movement were showing people that these slaves were people just like them regardless of the color of their skin, while also showing the white Americans how cruel they have become in their racist actions. The abolitionists additionally cautioned Americans that God would unleash retribution for disobeying the principles of justice that they were all sinning for going against the wishes of Jesus Christ. The abolitionists were people that wanted to eradicate slavery in the abolitionist movement to make political, economic, and civil rights equally shared in the United States without concern of skin color; this later leading to frequent disputes over slavery such as the fugitive slave act and the underground railroad.
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One of the first indications of the new energy for the abolishment of slavery came about in 1829 accompanying the release of An Appeal to the Coloured Citizens of the World by David Walker’ which called out to black Americans to fight for abolition, while warning white Americans of the holy punishment they would receive if they don’t fix the sins they committed. This stirred things up but it wasn’t until the debut in 1831 of The Liberator created by William Lloyd Garrison’s that a new brand of abolitionism found a stable representation and he persuaded Americans that the blacks must be accepted as part of the American society.
One of the key issues this movement defended was the widespread poverty that the free black population as an effect of slavery. Charles L. Reason insisted that It must be part of the great work’ of the antislavey crusade(Foner 462). Another issue the movement fought for to end slavery was the freedom of speech against groups like the gentleman of Property and Standing who tried to silence them against speaking out for the freedom of the black slaves.
The generic tone of the debates happening in the 1840’s and 1850’s was a righteous tone where each side thought they were right and didn’t want to hear the opposite side and just wanted their side to win. One of the major slave related controversies that was occurring in this period of time was the Fugitive Slave Act.
This law granted certain federal commissioners to determine the fate of so-called fugitives without the luxury of a trial or even a testament from the accused. Abolition played a role in this issue because even people not previously involved with the abolition saw how this was immoral, they viewed the Fugitive Slave Act as a dangerous example of how government doing the bidding of the South could override an individual’s ability to act according to his conscience-the foundation, for Emerson, of genuine freedom.(Foner 495). It made people redouble their efforts to help the slaves in actions such as the Underground Railroad.
Altogether abolitionist are people who view slavery as a sin against the nation and that it was the ethical obligation for all Americans to help eradicate that sin from America and make all people in America equal regardless of race. This later leading to heated debated on the rights blacks should be afforded in issues like the Fugitive Slave Act that had abolitionist reinforce their desire to help runaway black fugitives from the law with the Underground Railroad.