Abolitionism

Abolitionism

Overview

Abolitionism is a movement to end slavery
Slavery
Slavery is a system under which people are treated as property to be bought and sold, and are forced to work. Slaves can be held against their will from the time of their capture, purchase or birth, and deprived of the right to leave, to refuse to work, or to demand compensation...

.

In western Europe
Western Europe
Western Europe is a loose term for the collection of countries in the western most region of the European continents, though this definition is context-dependent and carries cultural and political connotations. One definition describes Western Europe as a geographic entity—the region lying in the...

 and the Americas
Americas
The Americas, or America , are lands in the Western hemisphere, also known as the New World. In English, the plural form the Americas is often used to refer to the landmasses of North America and South America with their associated islands and regions, while the singular form America is primarily...

 abolitionism was a movement to end the slave trade and set slaves free. At the behest of Dominican
Dominican Order
The Order of Preachers , after the 15th century more commonly known as the Dominican Order or Dominicans, is a Catholic religious order founded by Saint Dominic and approved by Pope Honorius III on 22 December 1216 in France...

 priest Bartolomé de las Casas
Bartolomé de Las Casas
Bartolomé de las Casas O.P. was a 16th-century Spanish historian, social reformer and Dominican friar. He became the first resident Bishop of Chiapas, and the first officially appointed "Protector of the Indians"...

 who was shocked at the treatment of natives in the New World, Spain enacted the first European law abolishing colonial slavery
New Laws
The New Laws, in Spanish Leyes Nuevas, issued November 20, 1542 by King Charles V of Spain regarding the Spanish colonization of the Americas, are also known as the "New Laws of the Indies for the Good Treatment and Preservation of the Indians", and were created to prevent the exploitation of the...

 in 1542, although it was not to last (to 1545). In the 17th century, Quaker and evangelical religious groups condemned it as un-Christian; in the 18th century, rationalist thinkers of the Enlightenment
Age of Enlightenment
The Age of Enlightenment was an elite cultural movement of intellectuals in 18th century Europe that sought to mobilize the power of reason in order to reform society and advance knowledge. It promoted intellectual interchange and opposed intolerance and abuses in church and state...

 criticized it for violating the rights of man.
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Quotations

Abolitionism proposes to destroy the right and extinguish the principle of self-grovernment for which our forefathers waged a seven years' bloody war, and upon which our whole system of free government is founded.

Stephen Douglas

The Abolitionst…must see that he has neither the right or power of operating except by moral means and suasion.

Robert E. Lee
Encyclopedia

Abolitionism is a movement to end slavery
Slavery
Slavery is a system under which people are treated as property to be bought and sold, and are forced to work. Slaves can be held against their will from the time of their capture, purchase or birth, and deprived of the right to leave, to refuse to work, or to demand compensation...

.

In western Europe
Western Europe
Western Europe is a loose term for the collection of countries in the western most region of the European continents, though this definition is context-dependent and carries cultural and political connotations. One definition describes Western Europe as a geographic entity—the region lying in the...

 and the Americas
Americas
The Americas, or America , are lands in the Western hemisphere, also known as the New World. In English, the plural form the Americas is often used to refer to the landmasses of North America and South America with their associated islands and regions, while the singular form America is primarily...

 abolitionism was a movement to end the slave trade and set slaves free. At the behest of Dominican
Dominican Order
The Order of Preachers , after the 15th century more commonly known as the Dominican Order or Dominicans, is a Catholic religious order founded by Saint Dominic and approved by Pope Honorius III on 22 December 1216 in France...

 priest Bartolomé de las Casas
Bartolomé de Las Casas
Bartolomé de las Casas O.P. was a 16th-century Spanish historian, social reformer and Dominican friar. He became the first resident Bishop of Chiapas, and the first officially appointed "Protector of the Indians"...

 who was shocked at the treatment of natives in the New World, Spain enacted the first European law abolishing colonial slavery
New Laws
The New Laws, in Spanish Leyes Nuevas, issued November 20, 1542 by King Charles V of Spain regarding the Spanish colonization of the Americas, are also known as the "New Laws of the Indies for the Good Treatment and Preservation of the Indians", and were created to prevent the exploitation of the...

 in 1542, although it was not to last (to 1545). In the 17th century, Quaker and evangelical religious groups condemned it as un-Christian; in the 18th century, rationalist thinkers of the Enlightenment
Age of Enlightenment
The Age of Enlightenment was an elite cultural movement of intellectuals in 18th century Europe that sought to mobilize the power of reason in order to reform society and advance knowledge. It promoted intellectual interchange and opposed intolerance and abuses in church and state...

 criticized it for violating the rights of man. Though anti-slavery sentiments were widespread by the late 18th century, they had little immediate effect on the centers of slavery: the West Indies, South America, and the Southern United States
Southern United States
The Southern United States—commonly referred to as the American South, Dixie, or simply the South—constitutes a large distinctive area in the southeastern and south-central United States...

. The Somersett's case
Somersett's Case
R v Knowles, ex parte Somersett 20 State Tr 1 is a famous judgment of the English Court of King's Bench in 1772 which held that slavery was unsupported by law in England and Wales...

 in 1772 that emancipated a slave in England, helped launch the movement to abolish slavery. Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...

 passed An Act for the Gradual Abolition of Slavery
An Act for the Gradual Abolition of Slavery
An Act for the Gradual Abolition of Slavery, passed by the Pennsylvania legislature on 1 March 1780, was the first attempt by a government in the Western Hemisphere to begin an abolition of slavery....

 in 1780. Britain banned the importation of African slaves in its colonies in 1807, and the United States followed in 1808. Britain abolished slavery throughout the British Empire
British Empire
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...

 with the Slavery Abolition Act 1833, the French colonies
French colonial empire
The French colonial empire was the set of territories outside Europe that were under French rule primarily from the 17th century to the late 1960s. In the 19th and 20th centuries, the colonial empire of France was the second-largest in the world behind the British Empire. The French colonial empire...

 abolished it 15 years later, while slavery in the United States was abolished in 1865 with the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution
Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution officially abolished and continues to prohibit slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime. It was passed by the Senate on April 8, 1864, passed by the House on January 31, 1865, and adopted on December 6, 1865. On...

.

Abolitionism in the West was preceded by the New Laws of the Indies
Laws of the Indies
The Laws of the Indies are the entire body of laws issued by the Spanish Crown for its American and Philippine possessions of its empire. They regulated social, political and economic life in these areas...

 in 1542, in which Emperor Charles V declared free all Native American
Indigenous peoples of the Americas
The indigenous peoples of the Americas are the pre-Columbian inhabitants of North and South America, their descendants and other ethnic groups who are identified with those peoples. Indigenous peoples are known in Canada as Aboriginal peoples, and in the United States as Native Americans...

 slaves, abolishing slavery of these races, and declaring them citizens of the Empire with full rights. The move was inspired by writings of the Spanish monk Bartolomé de las Casas and the School of Salamanca
School of Salamanca
The School of Salamanca is the renaissance of thought in diverse intellectual areas by Spanish and Portuguese theologians, rooted in the intellectual and pedagogical work of Francisco de Vitoria...

. Spanish settlers replaced the Native American slaves with enslaved laborers brought from Africa and thus did not abolish slavery. In Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe is the eastern part of Europe. The term has widely disparate geopolitical, geographical, cultural and socioeconomic readings, which makes it highly context-dependent and even volatile, and there are "almost as many definitions of Eastern Europe as there are scholars of the region"...

, abolitionism has played out in movements to end the enslavement of the Roma in Wallachia
Wallachia
Wallachia or Walachia is a historical and geographical region of Romania. It is situated north of the Danube and south of the Southern Carpathians...

 and Moldavia
Moldavia
Moldavia is a geographic and historical region and former principality in Eastern Europe, corresponding to the territory between the Eastern Carpathians and the Dniester river...

 and to emancipate the serfs in Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

 (Emancipation reform of 1861
Emancipation reform of 1861
The Emancipation Reform of 1861 in Russia was the first and most important of liberal reforms effected during the reign of Alexander II of Russia. The reform, together with a related reform in 1861, amounted to the liquidation of serf dependence previously suffered by peasants of the Russian Empire...

). Today, child and adult slavery and forced labour
Unfree labour
Unfree labour includes all forms of slavery as well as all other related institutions .-Payment for unfree labour:If payment occurs, it may be in one or more of the following forms:...

 are illegal in most countries, as well as being against international law
International law
Public international law concerns the structure and conduct of sovereign states; analogous entities, such as the Holy See; and intergovernmental organizations. To a lesser degree, international law also may affect multinational corporations and individuals, an impact increasingly evolving beyond...

.

United Kingdom and the British Empire



Some of the first court cases to challenge the legality of slavery took place in Scotland. The cases were Montgomery v Sheddan (1756), Spens v Dalrymple (1769), and set the precedent of legal procedure in British courts that would later lead to successful outcomes for the plaintiffs.

The court case of 1569 involving Cartwright who had bought a slave from Russia ruled that English law could not recognise slavery. This ruling was overshadowed by later developments, but was upheld by the Lord Chief Justice in 1701 when he ruled that a slave became free as soon as he arrived in England.

William Wilberforce
William Wilberforce
William Wilberforce was a British politician, a philanthropist and a leader of the movement to abolish the slave trade. A native of Kingston upon Hull, Yorkshire, he began his political career in 1780, eventually becoming the independent Member of Parliament for Yorkshire...

 later took on the cause of abolition in 1787 after the formation of the Committee for the Abolition of the Slave Trade, in which he led the parliamentary campaign to abolish the slave trade in the British Empire with the Slave Trade Act 1807. He continued to campaign for the abolition of slavery in the British Empire, which he lived to see in the Slavery Abolition Act 1833.

The last known form of enforced servitude of adults (villeinage) had disappeared in Britain at the beginning of the 17th century. But by the 18th century, traders began to import African and Indian and East Asian slaves to London and Edinburgh
Edinburgh
Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland, the second largest city in Scotland, and the eighth most populous in the United Kingdom. The City of Edinburgh Council governs one of Scotland's 32 local government council areas. The council area includes urban Edinburgh and a rural area...

 to work as personal servants. Men who migrated to the North American colonies often took their East Indian slaves or servants with them, as East Indians were documented in colonial records. They were not bought or sold in London, and their legal status was unclear until 1772, when the case of a runaway slave named James Somersett forced a legal decision. The owner, Charles Steuart, had attempted to abduct him and send him to Jamaica
Jamaica
Jamaica is an island nation of the Greater Antilles, in length, up to in width and 10,990 square kilometres in area. It is situated in the Caribbean Sea, about south of Cuba, and west of Hispaniola, the island harbouring the nation-states Haiti and the Dominican Republic...

 to work on the sugar plantation
Plantation
A plantation is a long artificially established forest, farm or estate, where crops are grown for sale, often in distant markets rather than for local on-site consumption...

s. While in London, Somersett had been baptised
Baptism
In Christianity, baptism is for the majority the rite of admission , almost invariably with the use of water, into the Christian Church generally and also membership of a particular church tradition...

 and his godparents issued a writ of habeas corpus
Habeas corpus
is a writ, or legal action, through which a prisoner can be released from unlawful detention. The remedy can be sought by the prisoner or by another person coming to his aid. Habeas corpus originated in the English legal system, but it is now available in many nations...

. As a result Lord Mansfield
William Murray, 1st Earl of Mansfield
William Murray, 1st Earl of Mansfield, SL, PC was a British barrister, politician and judge noted for his reform of English law. Born to Scottish nobility, he was educated in Perth, Scotland before moving to London at the age of 13 to take up a place at Westminster School...

, Chief Justice of the Court of the King's Bench
King's Bench
The Queen's Bench is the superior court in a number of jurisdictions within some of the Commonwealth realms...

, had to judge whether the abduction was legal or not under English Common Law
Common law
Common law is law developed by judges through decisions of courts and similar tribunals rather than through legislative statutes or executive branch action...

, as there was no legislation for slavery in England.

In his judgment of 22 June 1772 Mansfield declared: "Whatever inconveniences, therefore, may follow from a decision, I cannot say this case is allowed or approved by the law of England; and therefore the black must be discharged." Although the exact legal implications
Slavery at common law
Slavery at common law in former colonies of the British Empire, developed slowly over centuries, characterised by inconsistent decisions and varying rationales for the treatment of slavery, the slave trade, and the rights of slaves and slave owners...

 of the judgement are actually unclear when analysed by lawyers, it was generally taken at the time to have decided that the condition of slavery did not exist under English law
English law
English law is the legal system of England and Wales, and is the basis of common law legal systems used in most Commonwealth countries and the United States except Louisiana...

 in England. While no authority could be applied on slaves entering English soil, the decision did not apply to other territories. The Somersett's case became a significant part of the common law of slavery in the English speaking world, and helped launch the movement to abolish slavery. After reading about the Somersett's Case, Joseph Knight, an enslaved African in Scotland, left his master John Wedderburn. A similar case to Steuart's was brought by Wedderburn in 1776, with the same result: chattel slavery was ruled not to exist under the law of Scotland. Nonetheless, legally mandated, hereditary slavery of Scots in Scotland existed from 1606 until 1799, when colliers
Coal mining
The goal of coal mining is to obtain coal from the ground. Coal is valued for its energy content, and since the 1880s has been widely used to generate electricity. Steel and cement industries use coal as a fuel for extraction of iron from iron ore and for cement production. In the United States,...

 and salters were legally emancipated
Emancipation
Emancipation means the act of setting an individual or social group free or making equal to citizens in a political society.Emancipation may also refer to:* Emancipation , a champion Australian thoroughbred racehorse foaled in 1979...

 by an act of the Parliament of Great Britain
Parliament of Great Britain
The Parliament of Great Britain was formed in 1707 following the ratification of the Acts of Union by both the Parliament of England and Parliament of Scotland...

 (39 Geo.III. c56). A prior law enacted in 1775 (15 Geo.III. c. 28) was intended to end what the act referred to as "a state of slavery and bondage," but it was ineffectual, necessitating the 1799 act.


First steps


Despite the ending of slavery in Great Britain
Kingdom of Great Britain
The former Kingdom of Great Britain, sometimes described as the 'United Kingdom of Great Britain', That the Two Kingdoms of Scotland and England, shall upon the 1st May next ensuing the date hereof, and forever after, be United into One Kingdom by the Name of GREAT BRITAIN. was a sovereign...

, slavery was a strong institution in the Southern Colonies
Southern Colonies
The Southern Colonies in North America were established by Europeans during the 16th and 17th centuries and consisted of olden South Carolina, North Carolina, Maryland, Virginia and Georgia. Their historical names were the Colony and Dominion of Virginia, the Province of Carolina, and the Province...

 of British America
British America
For American people of British descent, see British American.British America is the anachronistic term used to refer to the territories under the control of the Crown or Parliament in present day North America , Central America, the Caribbean, and Guyana...

 and the West Indian colonies
British West Indies
The British West Indies was a term used to describe the islands in and around the Caribbean that were part of the British Empire The term was sometimes used to include British Honduras and British Guiana, even though these territories are not geographically part of the Caribbean...

 of the British Empire
British Empire
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...

. In 1785, English poet William Cowper
William Cowper
William Cowper was an English poet and hymnodist. One of the most popular poets of his time, Cowper changed the direction of 18th century nature poetry by writing of everyday life and scenes of the English countryside. In many ways, he was one of the forerunners of Romantic poetry...

 wrote: "We have no slaves at home – Then why abroad? Slaves cannot breathe in England; if their lungs receive our air, that moment they are free, They touch our country, and their shackles fall. That's noble, and bespeaks a nation proud. And jealous of the blessing. Spread it then, And let it circulate through every vein." By 1783, an anti-slavery movement was beginning among the British public. That year the first British abolitionist organization was founded by a group of Quakers. The Quakers continued to be influential throughout the lifetime of the movement, in many ways leading the campaign. On 17 June 1783 the issue was formally brought to government by Sir Cecil Wray (Member of Parliament
Member of Parliament
A Member of Parliament is a representative of the voters to a :parliament. In many countries with bicameral parliaments, the term applies specifically to members of the lower house, as upper houses often have a different title, such as senate, and thus also have different titles for its members,...

 for Westminster
Westminster (UK Parliament constituency)
Westminster was a parliamentary constituency in the Parliament of England to 1707, the Parliament of Great Britain 1707-1800 and the Parliament of the United Kingdom from 1801. It returned two members to 1885 and one thereafter....

), who presented the Quaker petition to parliament. Also in 1783, Dr Beilby Porteus issued a call to the Church of England
Church of England
The Church of England is the officially established Christian church in England and the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The church considers itself within the tradition of Western Christianity and dates its formal establishment principally to the mission to England by St...

 to cease its involvement in the slave trade and to formulate a workable policy to draw attention to and improve the conditions of Afro-Caribbean
British African-Caribbean community
The British African Caribbean communities are residents of the United Kingdom who are of West Indian background and whose ancestors were primarily indigenous to Africa...

 slaves. The exploration of the African continent, by such British groups as the African Association
African Association
The Association for Promoting the Discovery of the Interior Parts of Africa , founded in London on June 9, 1788, was a British club dedicated to the exploration of West Africa, with the mission of discovering the origin and course of the Niger River and the location of Timbuktu, the "lost city" of...

 (1788), promoted the abolitionists' cause by showing Europeans that the Africans had legitimate, complex cultures. The African Association also had close ties with William Wilberforce, perhaps the most important political figure in the battle for abolition in the British Empire.

Black people also played an important part in the movement for abolition. In Britain, Olaudah Equiano
Olaudah Equiano
Olaudah Equiano also known as Gustavus Vassa, was a prominent African involved in the British movement towards the abolition of the slave trade. His autobiography depicted the horrors of slavery and helped influence British lawmakers to abolish the slave trade through the Slave Trade Act of 1807...

, whose autobiography was published in nine editions in his lifetime, campaigned tirelessly against the slave trade.

Growth of the movement



In May 1787, the Committee for the Abolition of the Slave Trade was formed, referring to the Atlantic slave trade
Atlantic slave trade
The Atlantic slave trade, also known as the trans-atlantic slave trade, refers to the trade in slaves that took place across the Atlantic ocean from the sixteenth through to the nineteenth centuries...

, the trafficking in slaves by British merchants who took manufactured goods from ports such as Bristol and Liverpool, sold or exchanged these for slaves in West Africa
West Africa
West Africa or Western Africa is the westernmost region of the African continent. Geopolitically, the UN definition of Western Africa includes the following 16 countries and an area of approximately 5 million square km:-Flags of West Africa:...

 where the African chieftain hierarchy was tied to slavery, shipped the slaves to British colonies and other Caribbean countries or the American colonies
British America
For American people of British descent, see British American.British America is the anachronistic term used to refer to the territories under the control of the Crown or Parliament in present day North America , Central America, the Caribbean, and Guyana...

, where they sold or exchanged them mainly to the Planters for rum and sugar, which they took back to British ports. This was the so-called Triangle trade because these mercantile merchants traded in three places each round-trip. Political influence against the inhumanity of the slave trade grew strongly in the late 18th century. Many people, some African, some European by descent, influenced abolition. Well known abolitionists in Britain included James Ramsay
James Ramsay (abolitionist)
James Ramsay was a ship’s surgeon, Anglican priest, and leading abolitionist.-Early life and Naval service:Ramsay was born at Fraserburgh, Scotland, the son of William Ramsay, ship’s carpenter, and Margaret Ogilvie. He was apprenticed to a local surgeon and later educated at King's College,...

 who had seen the cruelty of the trade at first hand, Granville Sharp
Granville Sharp
Granville Sharp was one of the first English campaigners for the abolition of the slave trade. He also involved himself in trying to correct other social injustices. Sharp formulated the plan to settle blacks in Sierra Leone, and founded the St. George's Bay Company, a forerunner of the Sierra...

, Thomas Clarkson
Thomas Clarkson
Thomas Clarkson , was an English abolitionist, and a leading campaigner against the slave trade in the British Empire. He helped found The Society for Effecting the Abolition of the Slave Trade and helped achieve passage of the Slave Trade Act of 1807, which ended British trade in slaves...

, Josiah Wedgwood
Josiah Wedgwood
Josiah Wedgwood was an English potter, founder of the Wedgwood company, credited with the industrialization of the manufacture of pottery. A prominent abolitionist, Wedgwood is remembered for his "Am I Not A Man And A Brother?" anti-slavery medallion. He was a member of the Darwin–Wedgwood family...

 who produced the "Am I Not A Man And A Brother?" medallion for the Committee, and other members of the Clapham Sect
Clapham Sect
The Clapham Sect or Clapham Saints were a group of influential like-minded Church of England social reformers based in Clapham, London at the beginning of the 19th century...

 of evangelical
Evangelicalism
Evangelicalism is a Protestant Christian movement which began in Great Britain in the 1730s and gained popularity in the United States during the series of Great Awakenings of the 18th and 19th century.Its key commitments are:...

 reformers, as well as Quakers who took most of the places on the Committee for the Abolition of the Slave Trade, having been the first to present a petition against the slave trade to the British Parliament and who founded the predecessor body to the Committee. As Dissenters, Quakers were not eligible to become British MPs in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, so the Anglican evangelist William Wilberforce
William Wilberforce
William Wilberforce was a British politician, a philanthropist and a leader of the movement to abolish the slave trade. A native of Kingston upon Hull, Yorkshire, he began his political career in 1780, eventually becoming the independent Member of Parliament for Yorkshire...

 was persuaded to become the leader of the parliamentary
Parliament of Great Britain
The Parliament of Great Britain was formed in 1707 following the ratification of the Acts of Union by both the Parliament of England and Parliament of Scotland...

 campaign. Clarkson became the group's most prominent researcher, gathering vast amounts of information about the slave trade, gaining first hand accounts by interviewing sailors and former slaves at British ports such as Bristol
Bristol
Bristol is a city, unitary authority area and ceremonial county in South West England, with an estimated population of 433,100 for the unitary authority in 2009, and a surrounding Larger Urban Zone with an estimated 1,070,000 residents in 2007...

, Liverpool
Liverpool
Liverpool is a city and metropolitan borough of Merseyside, England, along the eastern side of the Mersey Estuary. It was founded as a borough in 1207 and was granted city status in 1880...

 and London.

Mainly because of Clarkson's efforts, a network of local abolition groups was established across the country. They campaigned through public meetings and the publication of pamphlets and petitions. One of the earliest books promoted by Clarkson and the Committee for the Abolition of the Slave Trade was the autobiography of the freed slave Olaudah Equiano
Olaudah Equiano
Olaudah Equiano also known as Gustavus Vassa, was a prominent African involved in the British movement towards the abolition of the slave trade. His autobiography depicted the horrors of slavery and helped influence British lawmakers to abolish the slave trade through the Slave Trade Act of 1807...

. The movement had support from such freed slaves, from many denominational groups such as Swedenborgians, Quakers, Baptists, Methodists and others, and reached out for support from the new industrial workers
Industrial Revolution
The Industrial Revolution was a period from the 18th to the 19th century where major changes in agriculture, manufacturing, mining, transportation, and technology had a profound effect on the social, economic and cultural conditions of the times...

 of the cities in the midlands and north of England. Even women and children, previously un-politicised groups, became involved in the campaign although at this date women often had to hold separate meetings and were ineligible to be represented in the British Parliament, as indeed were the majority of the men in Britain.

One particular project of the abolitionists was the negotiation with African chieftains for the purchase of land in West Africa
West Africa
West Africa or Western Africa is the westernmost region of the African continent. Geopolitically, the UN definition of Western Africa includes the following 16 countries and an area of approximately 5 million square km:-Flags of West Africa:...

n kingdoms for the establishment of 'Freetown
Freetown
Freetown is the capital and largest city of Sierra Leone, a country in West Africa. It is a major port city on the Atlantic Ocean located in the Western Area of the country, and had a city proper population of 772,873 at the 2004 census. The city is the economic, financial, and cultural center of...

' – a settlement for former slaves of the British Empire
British Empire
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...

 and the United States, back in west Africa. This privately negotiated settlement, later part of Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone , officially the Republic of Sierra Leone, is a country in West Africa. It is bordered by Guinea to the north and east, Liberia to the southeast, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west and southwest. Sierra Leone covers a total area of and has an estimated population between 5.4 and 6.4...

 eventually became protected under a British Act of Parliament in 1807–8, after which British influence in West Africa grew as a series of negotiations with local Chieftains were signed to stamp out trading in slaves. These included agreements to permit British navy ships to intercept Chieftains' ships to ensure their merchants were not carrying slaves.
In 1796, John Gabriel Stedman
John Gabriel Stedman
John Gabriel Stedman was a distinguished British–Dutch soldier and noted author. He was born in the Netherlands in 1744 to Robert Stedman, a Scot and an officer in Holland's Scots Brigade, and his wife of Dutch noble lineage, Antoinetta Christina van Ceulen. He lived most of his childhood in...

 published the memoirs of his five-year voyage to the Dutch
Dutch Empire
The Dutch Empire consisted of the overseas territories controlled by the Dutch Republic and later, the modern Netherlands from the 17th to the 20th century. The Dutch followed Portugal and Spain in establishing an overseas colonial empire, but based on military conquest of already-existing...

-controlled Surinam as part of a military force sent out to subdue bosneger
Maroon (people)
Maroons were runaway slaves in the West Indies, Central America, South America, and North America, who formed independent settlements together...

s, former slaves living in the inlands. The book is critical of the treatment of slaves and contains many images by William Blake
William Blake
William Blake was an English poet, painter, and printmaker. Largely unrecognised during his lifetime, Blake is now considered a seminal figure in the history of both the poetry and visual arts of the Romantic Age...

 and Francesco Bartolozzi
Francesco Bartolozzi
Francesco Bartolozzi was an Italian engraver, whose most productive period was spent in London.He was born in Florence...

 depicting the cruel treatment of runaway slaves. It became part of a large body of abolitionist literature.

Slave Trade Act 1807


The Slave Trade Act was passed by the British Parliament
Parliament of the United Kingdom
The Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the supreme legislative body in the United Kingdom, British Crown dependencies and British overseas territories, located in London...

 on 25 March 1807, making the slave trade illegal throughout the British Empire. The Act imposed a fine of £100 for every slave found aboard a British ship. Such a law was bound to be eventually passed, given the increasingly powerful abolitionist movement. The timing might have been connected with the Napoleonic Wars
Napoleonic Wars
The Napoleonic Wars were a series of wars declared against Napoleon's French Empire by opposing coalitions that ran from 1803 to 1815. As a continuation of the wars sparked by the French Revolution of 1789, they revolutionised European armies and played out on an unprecedented scale, mainly due to...

 raging at the time. At a time when Napoleon took the retrograde decision to revive slavery which had been abolished during the French Revolution
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

 and to send his troops to re-enslave the people of Haiti
Haiti
Haiti , officially the Republic of Haiti , is a Caribbean country. It occupies the western, smaller portion of the island of Hispaniola, in the Greater Antillean archipelago, which it shares with the Dominican Republic. Ayiti was the indigenous Taíno or Amerindian name for the island...

 and the other French Caribbean possessions, the British prohibition of the slave trade gave the British Empire the moral high ground.

The act's intention was to entirely outlaw the slave trade within the British Empire
British Empire
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...

, but the trade continued and captains in danger of being caught by the Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

 would often throw slaves into the sea to reduce the fine. In 1827, Britain declared that participation in the slave trade was piracy
Piracy
Piracy is an act of robbery or criminal violence at sea. The term can include acts committed on land, in the air, or in other major bodies of water or on a shore. It does not normally include crimes committed against persons traveling on the same vessel as the perpetrator...

 and punishable by death
Death Sentence
Death Sentence is a short story by the American science-fiction writer Isaac Asimov. It was first published in the November 1943 issue of Astounding Science Fiction and reprinted in the 1972 collection The Early Asimov.-Plot summary:...

. Between 1808 and 1860, the Royal Navy's West Africa Squadron
West Africa Squadron
The Royal Navy established the West Africa Squadron at substantial expense in 1808 after Parliament passed the Slave Trade Act of 1807. The squadron's task was to suppress the Atlantic slave trade by patrolling the coast of West Africa...

 seized approximately 1,600 slave ships and freed 150,000 Africans who were aboard. Action was also taken against African leaders who refused to agree to British treaties to outlaw the trade, for example against "the usurping King of Lagos
Lagos
Lagos is a port and the most populous conurbation in Nigeria. With a population of 7,937,932, it is currently the third most populous city in Africa after Cairo and Kinshasa, and currently estimated to be the second fastest growing city in Africa...

", deposed in 1851. Anti-slavery treaties were signed with over 50 African rulers.

Slavery Abolition Act 1833




After the 1807 act, slaves were still held, though not sold, within the British Empire. In the 1820s, the abolitionist movement again became active, this time campaigning against the institution of slavery itself. In 1823 the first Anti-Slavery Society
Anti-Slavery Society
The Anti-Slavery Society or A.S.S. was the everyday name of two different British organizations.The first was founded in 1823 and was committed to the abolition of slavery in the British Empire. Its official name was the Society for the Mitigation and Gradual Abolition of Slavery Throughout the...

 was founded in Britain. Many of the campaigners were those who had previously campaigned against the slave trade. Sam Sharpe
Samuel Sharpe
Samuel 'Sam' Sharpe, or Sharp, National Hero of Jamaica was the slave leader behind the Jamaican Baptist War slave rebellion. Samuel Sharpe was born in the parish of St. James...

 contributed to the abolition of slavery with his Christmas rebellion in Jamaica in 1831.

On 28 August 1833, the Slavery Abolition Act
Slavery Abolition Act
The Slavery Abolition Act 1833 was an 1833 Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom abolishing slavery throughout the British Empire...

 was given Royal Assent
Royal Assent
The granting of royal assent refers to the method by which any constitutional monarch formally approves and promulgates an act of his or her nation's parliament, thus making it a law...

, which paved the way for the abolition of slavery within the British Empire
British Empire
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...

 and its colonies. On 1 August 1834, all slaves in the British Empire were emancipated, but they were indentured to their former owners in an apprenticeship system which was abolished in two stages; the first set of apprenticeships came to an end on 1 August 1838, while the final apprenticeships were scheduled to cease on 1 August 1840, six years later.

On 1 August 1834, an unarmed group of mainly elderly Negroes being addressed by the Governor at Government House in Port of Spain
Port of Spain
Port of Spain, also written as Port-of-Spain, is the capital of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and the country's third-largest municipality, after San Fernando and Chaguanas. The city has a municipal population of 49,031 , a metropolitan population of 128,026 and a transient daily population...

, Trinidad
Trinidad
Trinidad is the larger and more populous of the two major islands and numerous landforms which make up the island nation of Trinidad and Tobago. It is the southernmost island in the Caribbean and lies just off the northeastern coast of Venezuela. With an area of it is also the fifth largest in...

, about the new laws, began chanting: "Pas de six ans. Point de six ans" ("Not six years. No six years"), drowning out the voice of the Governor. Peaceful protests continued until a resolution to abolish apprenticeship
Apprenticeship
Apprenticeship is a system of training a new generation of practitioners of a skill. Apprentices or protégés build their careers from apprenticeships...

 was passed and de facto freedom was achieved. Full emancipation for all was legally granted ahead of schedule on 1 August 1838, making Trinidad the first British colony with slaves to completely abolish slavery.
The government set aside £20 million to cover compensation of slave owners across the Empire, but the former slaves received no compensation or reparations.


Campaigning after the act


In 1839, a successor organization to the Anti-Slavery Society was formed, the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society, which worked to outlaw slavery in other countries and also to pressure the government to help enforce the suppression of the slave trade by declaring slave traders pirates and pursuing them. The world's oldest international human rights organization, it continues today as Anti-Slavery International
Anti-Slavery International
Anti-Slavery International is an international nongovernmental organization, charity and a lobby group, based in the United Kingdom. Founded in 1839, it is the world's oldest international human rights organization, and the only charity in the United Kingdom to work exclusively against slavery and...

.

France


As in other "New World" colonies, the Atlantic slave trade
Atlantic slave trade
The Atlantic slave trade, also known as the trans-atlantic slave trade, refers to the trade in slaves that took place across the Atlantic ocean from the sixteenth through to the nineteenth centuries...

 provided the French colonies with manpower for the sugar cane plantations. The French West Indies
French West Indies
The term French West Indies or French Antilles refers to the seven territories currently under French sovereignty in the Antilles islands of the Caribbean: the two overseas departments of Guadeloupe and Martinique, the two overseas collectivities of Saint Martin and Saint Barthélemy, plus...

 included Anguilla
Anguilla
Anguilla is a British overseas territory and overseas territory of the European Union in the Caribbean. It is one of the most northerly of the Leeward Islands in the Lesser Antilles, lying east of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands and directly north of Saint Martin...

 (briefly), Antigua and Barbuda
Antigua and Barbuda
Antigua and Barbuda is a twin-island nation lying between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. It consists of two major inhabited islands, Antigua and Barbuda, and a number of smaller islands...

 (briefly), Dominica
Dominica
Dominica , officially the Commonwealth of Dominica, is an island nation in the Lesser Antilles region of the Caribbean Sea, south-southeast of Guadeloupe and northwest of Martinique. Its size is and the highest point in the country is Morne Diablotins, which has an elevation of . The Commonwealth...

, Dominican Republic
Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic is a nation on the island of La Hispaniola, part of the Greater Antilles archipelago in the Caribbean region. The western third of the island is occupied by the nation of Haiti, making Hispaniola one of two Caribbean islands that are shared by two countries...

, Grenada
Grenada
Grenada is an island country and Commonwealth Realm consisting of the island of Grenada and six smaller islands at the southern end of the Grenadines in the southeastern Caribbean Sea...

, Haïti
Haiti
Haiti , officially the Republic of Haiti , is a Caribbean country. It occupies the western, smaller portion of the island of Hispaniola, in the Greater Antillean archipelago, which it shares with the Dominican Republic. Ayiti was the indigenous Taíno or Amerindian name for the island...

, Montserrat
Montserrat
Montserrat is a British overseas territory located in the Leeward Islands, part of the chain of islands called the Lesser Antilles in the West Indies. This island measures approximately long and wide, giving of coastline...

 (briefly), Saint Lucia
Saint Lucia
Saint Lucia is an island country in the eastern Caribbean Sea on the boundary with the Atlantic Ocean. Part of the Lesser Antilles, it is located north/northeast of the island of Saint Vincent, northwest of Barbados and south of Martinique. It covers a land area of 620 km2 and has an...

, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is an island country in the Lesser Antilles chain, namely in the southern portion of the Windward Islands, which lie at the southern end of the eastern border of the Caribbean Sea where the latter meets the Atlantic Ocean....

, Sint Eustatius (briefly), St Kitts and Nevis (St Kitts, but not Nevis
Nevis
Nevis is an island in the Caribbean Sea, located near the northern end of the Lesser Antilles archipelago, about 350 km east-southeast of Puerto Rico and 80 km west of Antigua. The 93 km² island is part of the inner arc of the Leeward Islands chain of the West Indies...

), Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago officially the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago is an archipelagic state in the southern Caribbean, lying just off the coast of northeastern Venezuela and south of Grenada in the Lesser Antilles...

 (Tobago
Tobago
Tobago is the smaller of the two main islands that make up the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. It is located in the southern Caribbean, northeast of the island of Trinidad and southeast of Grenada. The island lies outside the hurricane belt...

 only), Saint Croix (briefly), Saint-Barthélemy (until 1784 when became Swedish for nearly a century), the northern half of Saint Martin
Saint Martin
Saint Martin is an island in the northeast Caribbean, approximately east of Puerto Rico. The 87 km2 island is divided roughly 60/40 between France and the Kingdom of the Netherlands ; however, the Dutch side has the larger population. It is one of the smallest sea islands divided between...

, and the current French overseas départements
Département d'outre-mer
An overseas department is a department of France that is outside metropolitan France. They have the same political status as metropolitan departments. As integral parts of France and the European Union, overseas departments are represented in the National Assembly, Senate, and Economic and Social...

 of Martinique
Martinique
Martinique is an island in the eastern Caribbean Sea, with a land area of . Like Guadeloupe, it is an overseas region of France, consisting of a single overseas department. To the northwest lies Dominica, to the south St Lucia, and to the southeast Barbados...

 and Guadeloupe
Guadeloupe
Guadeloupe is an archipelago located in the Leeward Islands, in the Lesser Antilles, with a land area of 1,628 square kilometres and a population of 400,000. It is the first overseas region of France, consisting of a single overseas department. As with the other overseas departments, Guadeloupe...

 in the Caribbean sea.

The slave trade was regulated by Louis XIV's Code Noir
Code Noir
The Code noir was a decree originally passed by France's King Louis XIV in 1685. The Code Noir defined the conditions of slavery in the French colonial empire, restricted the activities of free Negroes, forbade the exercise of any religion other than Roman Catholicism , and ordered...

. The revolt of slaves in the largest French colony of St. Domingue in 1791 was the beginning of what became the Haïtian Revolution
Haïtian Revolution
The Haitian Revolution was a period of conflict in the French colony of Saint-Domingue, which culminated in the elimination of slavery there and the founding of the Haitian republic...

 led by Toussaint L'Ouverture
Toussaint L'Ouverture
François-Dominique Toussaint Louverture , also Toussaint Bréda, Toussaint-Louverture was the leader of the Haitian Revolution. His military genius and political acumen led to the establishment of the independent black state of Haiti, transforming an entire society of slaves into a free,...

. The institution of slavery was first abolished in St. Domingue in 1793 by Sonthonax, who was the Commissioner sent to St. Domingue by the Convention, after the slave revolt of 1791, in order to safeguard the allegiance of the population to revolutionary France. The Convention, the first elected Assembly of the First Republic
French First Republic
The French First Republic was founded on 22 September 1792, by the newly established National Convention. The First Republic lasted until the declaration of the First French Empire in 1804 under Napoleon I...

 (1792–1804), on the 4th of February 1794, under the leadership of Maxmilien Robespierre, abolished slavery in law in France and its colonies. Abbé Grégoire
Henri Grégoire
Henri Grégoire , often referred to as Abbé Grégoire, was a French Roman Catholic priest, constitutional bishop of Blois and a revolutionary leader...

 and the Society of the Friends of the Blacks
Society of the Friends of the Blacks
The Society of the Friends of the Blacks was a group of French men and women, mostly white, who were abolitionists . The Society was created in Paris in 1788, and remained in existence until 1793...

 (Société des Amis des Noirs), led by Jacques Pierre Brissot
Jacques Pierre Brissot
Jacques Pierre Brissot , who assumed the name of de Warville, was a leading member of the Girondist movement during the French Revolution. Some sources give his name as Jean Pierre Brissot.-Biography:...

, were part of the abolitionist movement, which had laid important groundwork in building anti-slavery sentiment in the metropole
Metropolitan France
Metropolitan France is the part of France located in Europe. It can also be described as mainland France or as the French mainland and the island of Corsica...

. The first article of the law stated that "Slavery was abolished" in the French colonies, while the second article stated that "slave-owners would be indemnified" with financial compensation for the value of their slaves. The constitution of France passed in 1795 included in the declaration of the Rights of Man that slavery was abolished.

However, Napoleon did not include any declaration of the Rights of Man in the Constitution promulgated in 1799, and decided to re-establish slavery after becoming First Consul, promulgating the law of 20 May 1802
Law of 20 May 1802
The Law of 20 May 1802 was a French law passed on 20 May 1802 , revoking the law of 4 February 1794 which had abolished slavery in all the French colonies...

 and sending military governors and troops to the colonies to impose it. On 10 May 1802, Colonel Delgrès
Louis Delgrès
Louis Delgrès was a mulatto leader of the movement in Guadeloupe resisting reoccupation by Napoleonic France in 1802...

 launched a rebellion in Guadeloupe against Napoleon's representative, General Richepanse
Antoine Richepanse
Antoine Richepanse was a French revolutionary general and colonial administrator.-Military career:Richepanse was born in Metz as the son of an officer of the Regiment of Conti...

. The rebellion was repressed, and slavery was re-established. The news of this event sparked the rebellion that led to the loss of the lives of tens of thousands of French soldiers, a greater loss of civilian lives, and Haïti
Haiti
Haiti , officially the Republic of Haiti , is a Caribbean country. It occupies the western, smaller portion of the island of Hispaniola, in the Greater Antillean archipelago, which it shares with the Dominican Republic. Ayiti was the indigenous Taíno or Amerindian name for the island...

's gaining independence in 1804, and the consequential loss of the second most important French territory in the Americas, Louisiana, which was sold to the United States of America. The French governments refused to recognise Haiti and only did so in the 1830s when Haiti agreed to pay a substantial amount of reparations. Then, on 27 April 1848, under the Second Republic
French Second Republic
The French Second Republic was the republican government of France between the 1848 Revolution and the coup by Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte which initiated the Second Empire. It officially adopted the motto Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité...

 (1848–52), the decree-law Schœlcher
Victor Schoelcher
Victor Schoelcher was a French abolitionist writer in the 19th century and the main spokesman for a group from Paris who worked for the abolition of slavery, and formed an abolition society in 1834...

 again abolished slavery. The state bought the slaves from the colons (white colonists; Békés in Creole
Creole language
A creole language, or simply a creole, is a stable natural language developed from the mixing of parent languages; creoles differ from pidgins in that they have been nativized by children as their primary language, making them have features of natural languages that are normally missing from...

), and then freed them.

At about the same time, France started colonising Africa. Its activities there included transferring the population
Population transfer
Population transfer is the movement of a large group of people from one region to another by state policy or international authority, most frequently on the basis of ethnicity or religion...

 to mines
Mining
Mining is the extraction of valuable minerals or other geological materials from the earth, from an ore body, vein or seam. The term also includes the removal of soil. Materials recovered by mining include base metals, precious metals, iron, uranium, coal, diamonds, limestone, oil shale, rock...

, forestry
Forestry
Forestry is the interdisciplinary profession embracing the science, art, and craft of creating, managing, using, and conserving forests and associated resources in a sustainable manner to meet desired goals, needs, and values for human benefit. Forestry is practiced in plantations and natural stands...

, and rubber
Rubber
Natural rubber, also called India rubber or caoutchouc, is an elastomer that was originally derived from latex, a milky colloid produced by some plants. The plants would be ‘tapped’, that is, an incision made into the bark of the tree and the sticky, milk colored latex sap collected and refined...

 plantations under isolated, harsh working conditions often compared to slavery.

Debates about the dimensions of colonialism continue. On 10 May 2001, the Taubira law
Christiane Taubira
Christiane Taubira or Christiane Taubira-Delannon is a French politician. President of her party Walwari, she has served as a deputy at the French National Assembly since 1993, and was re-elected in 1997. Non-affiliated in 1993, she then voted for the investiture of the conservative Edouard...

 officially acknowledge slavery and the Atlantic Slave Trade as a crime against humanity
Crime against humanity
Crimes against humanity, as defined by the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court Explanatory Memorandum, "are particularly odious offenses in that they constitute a serious attack on human dignity or grave humiliation or a degradation of one or more human beings...

. 10 May was chosen as the day dedicated to recognition of the crime of slavery. Anti-colonial activists also want the French Republic to recognise African Liberation Day
African Liberation Day
African Liberation Day on May 25 is an annual holiday in various countries in Africa, coinciding with African Union's Africa Day.-History:On April 15, 1958, in the city of Accra, Ghana, African leaders and political activists gathered at the first Conference of Independent African States...

.

Although the crime of slavery was formally recognised, four years later, the conservative Union for a Popular Movement
Union for a Popular Movement
The Union for a Popular Movement is a centre-right political party in France, and one of the two major contemporary political parties in the country along with the center-left Socialist Party...

 (UMP) voted on 23 February 2005 for a law to require teachers and textbooks to "acknowledge and recognise in particular the positive role of the French presence abroad, especially in North Africa." This resolution was met with public uproar and accusations of historic revisionism
Historical revisionism (negationism)
Historical revisionism is either the legitimate scholastic re-examination of existing knowledge about a historical event, or the illegitimate distortion of the historical record such that certain events appear in a more or less favourable light. For the former, i.e. the academic pursuit, see...

, both inside France and abroad. Because of this law, Abdelaziz Bouteflika
Abdelaziz Bouteflika
Abdelaziz Bouteflika is the ninth President of Algeria. He has been in office since 1999. He continued emergency rule until 24 February 2011, and presided over the end of the bloody Algerian Civil War in 2002...

, president of Algeria, refused to sign the envisioned "friendly treaty" with France. The writer and politician Aimé Césaire
Aimé Césaire
Aimé Fernand David Césaire was a French poet, author and politician from Martinique. He was "one of the founders of the négritude movement in Francophone literature".-Student, educator, and poet:...

, leader of the Négritude
Négritude
Négritude is a literary and ideological movement, developed by francophone black intellectuals, writers, and politiciansin France in the 1930s by a group that included the future Senegalese President Léopold Sédar Senghor, Martinican poet Aimé Césaire, and the Guianan Léon Damas.The Négritude...

movement, refused to meet UMP leader Nicolas Sarkozy
Nicolas Sarkozy
Nicolas Sarkozy is the 23rd and current President of the French Republic and ex officio Co-Prince of Andorra. He assumed the office on 16 May 2007 after defeating the Socialist Party candidate Ségolène Royal 10 days earlier....

, who cancelled his planned visit to Martinique. President Jacques Chirac
Jacques Chirac
Jacques René Chirac is a French politician who served as President of France from 1995 to 2007. He previously served as Prime Minister of France from 1974 to 1976 and from 1986 to 1988 , and as Mayor of Paris from 1977 to 1995.After completing his studies of the DEA's degree at the...

 (UMP) repealed the controversial law at the beginning of 2006.

Moldavia and Wallachia



In the principalities of Wallachia
Wallachia
Wallachia or Walachia is a historical and geographical region of Romania. It is situated north of the Danube and south of the Southern Carpathians...

 and Moldavia
Moldavia
Moldavia is a geographic and historical region and former principality in Eastern Europe, corresponding to the territory between the Eastern Carpathians and the Dniester river...

 (both now part of Romania
Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

), the enslavement of the Roma (often referred to as Gypsies) was still legal
Slavery in Romania
Slavery existed on the territory of present-day Romania from before the founding of the principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia in 13th–14th century, until it was abolished in stages during the 1840s and 1850s. Most of the slaves were of Roma ethnicity...

 at the beginning of the 19th century. Abolitionism was associated with the progressive pro-European and anti-Ottoman movement, which gradually gained power in the two principalities. Between 1843 and 1855, all of the 250,000 enslaved Roma people were liberated. Many migrated to Western Europe
Western Europe
Western Europe is a loose term for the collection of countries in the western most region of the European continents, though this definition is context-dependent and carries cultural and political connotations. One definition describes Western Europe as a geographic entity—the region lying in the...

 and North America.

In the Americas


Bartolomé de las Casas was a 16th-century Spanish
Spanish Empire
The Spanish Empire comprised territories and colonies administered directly by Spain in Europe, in America, Africa, Asia and Oceania. It originated during the Age of Exploration and was therefore one of the first global empires. At the time of Habsburgs, Spain reached the peak of its world power....

 Dominican
Dominican Order
The Order of Preachers , after the 15th century more commonly known as the Dominican Order or Dominicans, is a Catholic religious order founded by Saint Dominic and approved by Pope Honorius III on 22 December 1216 in France...

 priest
Priest
A priest is a person authorized to perform the sacred rites of a religion, especially as a mediatory agent between humans and deities. They also have the authority or power to administer religious rites; in particular, rites of sacrifice to, and propitiation of, a deity or deities...

, the first resident Bishop
Bishop
A bishop is an ordained or consecrated member of the Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight. Within the Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox Churches, in the Assyrian Church of the East, in the Independent Catholic Churches, and in the...

 of Chiapas
Chiapas
Chiapas officially Estado Libre y Soberano de Chiapas is one of the 31 states that, with the Federal District, comprise the 32 Federal Entities of Mexico. It is divided in 118 municipalities and its capital city is Tuxtla Gutierrez. Other important cites in Chiapas include San Cristóbal de las...

, who as a settler in the New World
New World
The New World is one of the names used for the Western Hemisphere, specifically America and sometimes Oceania . The term originated in the late 15th century, when America had been recently discovered by European explorers, expanding the geographical horizon of the people of the European middle...

 witnessed, and was driven to oppose, the poor treatment of the Native Americans
Indigenous peoples of the Americas
The indigenous peoples of the Americas are the pre-Columbian inhabitants of North and South America, their descendants and other ethnic groups who are identified with those peoples. Indigenous peoples are known in Canada as Aboriginal peoples, and in the United States as Native Americans...

 by the Spanish colonists and advocated before King Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
Charles V was ruler of the Holy Roman Empire from 1519 and, as Charles I, of the Spanish Empire from 1516 until his voluntary retirement and abdication in favor of his younger brother Ferdinand I and his son Philip II in 1556.As...

 on behalf of rights for the natives. Originally having proposed to replace the slave labor of the natives with the importation of slaves from Africa, he eventually recanted this stance as well, and became an advocate for the Africans in the colonies.
His book, A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies
A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies
A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies is an account written by the Spanish Dominican friar Bartolomé de las Casas in 1542 about the mistreatment of the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas in colonial times and sent to then Prince Philip II of Spain.One of the stated purposes for writing...

, is largely responsible for the passage of the new Spanish colonial laws known as the New Laws of 1542, which abolished native slavery for the first time in European colonial history and ultimately led to the Valladolid debate
Valladolid debate
The Valladolid debate concerned the treatment of natives of the New World. Held in the Colegio de San Gregorio, in the Spanish city of Valladolid, it opposed two main attitudes towards the conquests of the Americas...

.

Latin America


Slavery was abolished in most of Latin America during the Independence Wars (1810–1822), but remained a practice in the region up to 1873 in Puerto Rico, 1886 in Cuba, and 1888 in Brazil. Chile
Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

 declared freedom of wombs
Freedom of wombs
Freedom of wombs was a judicial principle applied in several countries in South America in the 19th century which automatically freed slaves' children at their birth, rather than becoming the property of the parents' owners.-By country:A movement for American freedom from Spain grew in the...

 in 1811, followed by the United Provinces of the Río de La Plata in 1813, but without abolishing slavery completely. While Chile abolished slavery in 1823, Argentina did so with the signing of the Argentine Constitution of 1853
Argentine Constitution of 1853
The Argentine Constitution of 1853 was the first constitution of Argentina, approved with the support of the governments of the provinces —though without that of the Buenos Aires Province, who remained separated of the Argentine Confederation until 1859, after several modifications to the...

. Slavery was abolished in Uruguay during the Guerra Grande, by both the government of Fructuoso Rivera
Fructuoso Rivera
José Fructuoso Rivera y Toscana was an Uruguayan general and patriot who assisted in the efforts to force Brazilians out of the Banda Oriental.-Founder of Colorado Party and President of Uruguay:...

 and the government in exile
Government in exile
A government in exile is a political group that claims to be a country's legitimate government, but for various reasons is unable to exercise its legal power, and instead resides in a foreign country. Governments in exile usually operate under the assumption that they will one day return to their...

 of Manuel Oribe
Manuel Oribe
Manuel Ceferino Oribe y Viana was the fourth president of Uruguay.-Biography:Manuel Oribe was the son of Captain Francisco Oribe and María Francisca Viana, a descendant of the first governor of Montevideo, José Joaquín de Viana...

.

Canada



With slaves escaping to New York and New England, legislation for gradual emancipation was passed in Upper Canada
Upper Canada
The Province of Upper Canada was a political division in British Canada established in 1791 by the British Empire to govern the central third of the lands in British North America and to accommodate Loyalist refugees from the United States of America after the American Revolution...

 (1793) and Lower Canada
Lower Canada
The Province of Lower Canada was a British colony on the lower Saint Lawrence River and the shores of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence...

 (1803). In Upper Canada the Assembly no slaves could be imported; slaves already in the province would remain enslaved until death, no new slaves could be brought into Upper Canada, and children born to female slaves would be slaves but must be freed at age 25. In practice some slavery continued until abolished in the entire British Empire
British Empire
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...

 in the 1830s.

United States


In eleven States
U.S. state
A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...

 constituting the American South, slavery was a social and powerful economic institution, integral to the agricultural economy. By the 1860 United States Census, the slave population in the United States had grown to four million. American abolitionism labored under the handicap that it was accused of threatening the harmony of North
Northern United States
Northern United States, also sometimes the North, may refer to:* A particular grouping of states or regions of the United States of America. The United States Census Bureau divides some of the northernmost United States into the Midwest Region and the Northeast Region...

 and South in the Union. The abolitionist movement in the North was led by social reformers such as William Lloyd Garrison
William Lloyd Garrison
William Lloyd Garrison was a prominent American abolitionist, journalist, and social reformer. He is best known as the editor of the abolitionist newspaper The Liberator, and as one of the founders of the American Anti-Slavery Society, he promoted "immediate emancipation" of slaves in the United...

, founder of the American Anti-Slavery Society
American Anti-Slavery Society
The American Anti-Slavery Society was an abolitionist society founded by William Lloyd Garrison and Arthur Tappan. Frederick Douglass was a key leader of this society and often spoke at its meetings. William Wells Brown was another freed slave who often spoke at meetings. By 1838, the society had...

; writers such as John Greenleaf Whittier
John Greenleaf Whittier
John Greenleaf Whittier was an influential American Quaker poet and ardent advocate of the abolition of slavery in the United States. He is usually listed as one of the Fireside Poets...

 and Harriet Beecher Stowe
Harriet Beecher Stowe
Harriet Beecher Stowe was an American abolitionist and author. Her novel Uncle Tom's Cabin was a depiction of life for African-Americans under slavery; it reached millions as a novel and play, and became influential in the United States and United Kingdom...

; former slaves such as Frederick Douglass
Frederick Douglass
Frederick Douglass was an American social reformer, orator, writer and statesman. After escaping from slavery, he became a leader of the abolitionist movement, gaining note for his dazzling oratory and incisive antislavery writing...

; and free blacks such as brothers Charles Henry Langston
Charles Henry Langston
Charles Henry Langston , an American abolitionist and political activist born free in Louisa County, Virginia, was one of two men tried after the Oberlin-Wellington Rescue, a cause célèbre in 1858 Ohio that helped gain impetus for abolition. In 1835 he was one of the first blacks admitted to...

 and John Mercer Langston
John Mercer Langston
John Mercer Langston was an American abolitionist, attorney, educator, and political activist. He was the first dean of the law school at Howard University and helped create the department. He was the first president of what is now Virginia State University. In 1888 he was the first African...

, who helped found the Ohio Anti-Slavery Society.

The 1860 presidential victory
United States presidential election, 1860
The United States presidential election of 1860 was a quadrennial election, held on November 6, 1860, for the office of President of the United States and the immediate impetus for the outbreak of the American Civil War. The nation had been divided throughout the 1850s on questions surrounding the...

 of Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. He successfully led his country through a great constitutional, military and moral crisis – the American Civil War – preserving the Union, while ending slavery, and...

, who opposed the spread of slavery to the Western United States
Western United States
.The Western United States, commonly referred to as the American West or simply "the West," traditionally refers to the region comprising the westernmost states of the United States. Because the U.S. expanded westward after its founding, the meaning of the West has evolved over time...

, marked a turning point in the movement. Convinced that their way of life was threatened, the Southern states seceded
Secession
Secession is the act of withdrawing from an organization, union, or especially a political entity. Threats of secession also can be a strategy for achieving more limited goals.-Secession theory:...

 from the Union, which led to the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

. In 1863, Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation
Emancipation Proclamation
The Emancipation Proclamation is an executive order issued by United States President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863, during the American Civil War using his war powers. It proclaimed the freedom of 3.1 million of the nation's 4 million slaves, and immediately freed 50,000 of them, with nearly...

, which freed slaves held in the Confederate States; the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution
Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution officially abolished and continues to prohibit slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime. It was passed by the Senate on April 8, 1864, passed by the House on January 31, 1865, and adopted on December 6, 1865. On...

 (1865) prohibited slavery throughout the country.

Calls for abolition


The first American movement to abolish slavery came in the spring of 1688 when German and Dutch Quakers of Mennonite
Mennonite
The Mennonites are a group of Christian Anabaptist denominations named after the Frisian Menno Simons , who, through his writings, articulated and thereby formalized the teachings of earlier Swiss founders...

 descent in Germantown, Pennsylvania
Germantown, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Germantown is a neighborhood in the northwest section of the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, about 7–8 miles northwest from the center of the city...

 (now part of Philadelphia) wrote a two-page condemnation of the practice and sent it to the governing bodies of their Quaker church, the Society of Friends. Though the Quaker establishment took no immediate action, the 1688 Germantown Quaker Petition Against Slavery
The 1688 Germantown Quaker Petition Against Slavery
The 1688 Germantown Quaker Petition Against Slavery was the first protest against African American slavery made by a religious body in the English colonies. It was drafted by Francis Daniel Pastorius and signed by him and three other Quakers living in Germantown, Pennsylvania on behalf of the...

, was an unusually early, clear and forceful argument against slavery and initiated the process that finally led to the banning of slavery in the Society of Friends (1776) and in the state of Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...

 (1780).

The Society for the Relief of Free Negroes Unlawfully Held in Bondage
Society for the Relief of Free Negroes Unlawfully Held in Bondage
The Society for the Relief of Free Negroes Unlawfully Held in Bondage was the first American abolition society. It was initially formed April 14, 1775, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and held four meetings. Seventeen of the 24 men who attended initial meetings of the Society were Quakers...

 was the first American abolition society, formed 14 April 1775, in Philadelphia, primarily by Quakers who had strong religious objections to slavery. The society ceased to operate during the Revolution
American Revolutionary War
The American Revolutionary War , the American War of Independence, or simply the Revolutionary War, began as a war between the Kingdom of Great Britain and thirteen British colonies in North America, and ended in a global war between several European great powers.The war was the result of the...

 and the British occupation of Philadelphia. After the Revolution
American Revolution
The American Revolution was the political upheaval during the last half of the 18th century in which thirteen colonies in North America joined together to break free from the British Empire, combining to become the United States of America...

, it was reorganized in 1784, with Benjamin Franklin
Benjamin Franklin
Dr. Benjamin Franklin was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. A noted polymath, Franklin was a leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, postmaster, scientist, musician, inventor, satirist, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat...

 as its first president. Rhode Island
Rhode Island
The state of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, more commonly referred to as Rhode Island , is a state in the New England region of the United States. It is the smallest U.S. state by area...

 Quakers, associated with Moses Brown
Moses Brown
Moses Brown was a co-founder of Brown University and a New England abolitionist and industrialist, who funded the design and construction of some of the first factory houses for spinning machines during the American industrial revolution, including Slater Mill.-Early life:Brown was the son of...

, co-founder of Brown University
Brown University
Brown University is a private, Ivy League university located in Providence, Rhode Island, United States. Founded in 1764 prior to American independence from the British Empire as the College in the English Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations early in the reign of King George III ,...

, and who also settled at Uxbridge, Massachusetts
Uxbridge, Massachusetts
Uxbridge is a town in Worcester County, Massachusetts, in the United States. It was first settled in 1662, incorporated in 1727 at Suffolk County, and named for the Earl of Uxbridge. Uxbridge is south-southeast of Worcester, north-northwest of Providence, and southwest of Boston. It is part of...

 prior to 1770, were among the first in America to free slaves. Benjamin Rush
Benjamin Rush
Benjamin Rush was a Founding Father of the United States. Rush lived in the state of Pennsylvania and was a physician, writer, educator, humanitarian and a Christian Universalist, as well as the founder of Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania....

 was another leader, as were many Quakers. John Woolman
John Woolman
John Woolman was an American itinerant Quaker preacher who traveled throughout the American colonies and in England, advocating against cruelty to animals, economic injustices and oppression, conscription, military taxation, and particularly slavery and the slave trade.- Origins and early life...

 gave up most of his business in 1756 to devote himself to campaigning against slavery along with other Quakers. The first article published in what later became the United States advocating the emancipation of slaves and the abolition of slavery was allegedly written by Thomas Paine
Thomas Paine
Thomas "Tom" Paine was an English author, pamphleteer, radical, inventor, intellectual, revolutionary, and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States...

. Titled "African Slavery in America", it appeared on 8 March 1775 in the Postscript to the Pennsylvania Journal and Weekly Advertiser
The Pennsylvania journal
The Pennsylvania Journal was an American weekly newspaper published by William Bradford during the 18th century.The first number of the The Pennsylvania Journal appeared in December 1742...

, more popularly known as The Pennsylvania Magazine, or American Museum.

Abolition in the North


Through the Northwest Ordinance
Northwest Ordinance
The Northwest Ordinance was an act of the Congress of the Confederation of the United States, passed July 13, 1787...

 of 1787 under the Congress of the Confederation
Congress of the Confederation
The Congress of the Confederation or the United States in Congress Assembled was the governing body of the United States of America that existed from March 1, 1781, to March 4, 1789. It comprised delegates appointed by the legislatures of the states. It was the immediate successor to the Second...

, slavery was prohibited in the territories north west of the Ohio River
Ohio River
The Ohio River is the largest tributary, by volume, of the Mississippi River. At the confluence, the Ohio is even bigger than the Mississippi and, thus, is hydrologically the main stream of the whole river system, including the Allegheny River further upstream...

. By 1804, abolitionists succeeded in passing legislation that would eventually (in conjunction with the 13th amendment
Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution officially abolished and continues to prohibit slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime. It was passed by the Senate on April 8, 1864, passed by the House on January 31, 1865, and adopted on December 6, 1865. On...

) emancipate the slaves in every state north of the Ohio River and the Mason-Dixon Line
Mason-Dixon line
The Mason–Dixon Line was surveyed between 1763 and 1767 by Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon in the resolution of a border dispute between British colonies in Colonial America. It forms a demarcation line among four U.S. states, forming part of the borders of Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, and...

. However, emancipation in the free states was so gradual that both New York and Pennsylvania listed slaves in their 1840 census returns, and a small number of black slaves (18) were held in New Jersey in 1860.


The principal organized bodies to advocate this reform were the Pennsylvania Antislavery Society and the New York Manumission Society
New York Manumission Society
The New York Manumission Society was an early American organization founded in 1785 to promote the abolition of the slavery of African descendants within the state of New York. The organization was made up entirely of white men, most of whom were wealthy and held influential positions in society...

. The last was headed by powerful politicians: John Jay
John Jay
John Jay was an American politician, statesman, revolutionary, diplomat, a Founding Father of the United States, and the first Chief Justice of the United States ....

, Alexander Hamilton
Alexander Hamilton
Alexander Hamilton was a Founding Father, soldier, economist, political philosopher, one of America's first constitutional lawyers and the first United States Secretary of the Treasury...

, later Federalists and Aaron Burr
Aaron Burr
Aaron Burr, Jr. was an important political figure in the early history of the United States of America. After serving as a Continental Army officer in the Revolutionary War, Burr became a successful lawyer and politician...

, later Democratic-Republican Vice-President of the United States. That bill did not pass, because of controversy over the rights of freed slaves; every member of the Legislature, but one, voted for some version of it. New York did enact a bill in 1799, which did end slavery over time, but made no provision for the freedmen. New Jersey in 1804 was the last northern state to enact the gradual elimination slavery (again in a gradual fashion); there were still eighteen "perpetual apprentices" in New Jersey in the 1860 Census. Despite the actions of abolitionists, free blacks were subject to racial segregation in the North.

At the Constitutional Convention
Philadelphia Convention
The Constitutional Convention took place from May 14 to September 17, 1787, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to address problems in governing the United States of America, which had been operating under the Articles of Confederation following independence from...

 of 1787, agreement was reached that allowed the Federal government to abolish the importation of slaves into the United States, but not prior to 1808. By that time, all the states had passed individual laws abolishing or severely limiting the international buying or selling of slaves. The importation of slaves into the United States was officially banned on January 1, 1808. but not its internal slave trade.

Manumission by owners


After 1776, Quaker and Moravian advocates helped persuade numerous slaveholders in the Upper South to free their slaves. Manumissions increased for nearly two decades. Many individual acts of manumission freed thousands of slaves in total. Slaveholders freed slaves in such number that the percentage of free Negroes in the Upper South increased sharply from one to ten percent, with most of that increase in Virginia
Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

, Maryland
Maryland
Maryland is a U.S. state located in the Mid Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware to its east...

 and Delaware
Delaware
Delaware is a U.S. state located on the Atlantic Coast in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. It is bordered to the south and west by Maryland, and to the north by Pennsylvania...

. By 1810 three-quarters of blacks in Delaware were free. The most notable of individuals was Robert Carter III
Robert Carter III
Robert "Councillor" Carter III was an American plantation owner, founding father and onetime British government official. After the death of his wife, Frances Ann Tasker Carter, in 1787, Carter embraced the Swedenborgian faith and freed almost 500 slaves from his Nomini Hall plantation and large...

 of Virginia, who freed more than 450 people by "Deed of Gift", filed in 1791. This number was more slaves than any single American had freed or would ever free. Often slaveholders came to their decisions by their own struggles in the Revolution; their wills and deeds frequently cited language about the equality of men supporting their manumissions. Slaveholders were also encouraged to do so because the economics of the area was changing. They were shifting from labor-intensive tobacco culture to mixed crop cultivation and did not need as many slaves.

The free black families began to thrive, together with African Americans free before the Revolution, mostly descendants of unions between working class white women and African men. By 1860, in Delaware 91.7 percent of the blacks were free, and 49.7 percent of those in Maryland. These first free families often formed the core of artisans, professionals, preachers and teachers in future generations.

Western territories


During the Congressional debate on the 1820 Tallmadge Amendment
Tallmadge Amendment
The Tallmadge Amendment was submitted by James Tallmadge, Jr. in the United States House of Representatives on February 13, 1819, during the debate regarding the admission of Missouri as a state...

, which sought to limit slavery in Missouri
Missouri
Missouri is a US state located in the Midwestern United States, bordered by Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska. With a 2010 population of 5,988,927, Missouri is the 18th most populous state in the nation and the fifth most populous in the Midwest. It...

 as it became a state, Rufus King
Rufus King
Rufus King was an American lawyer, politician, and diplomat. He was a delegate for Massachusetts to the Continental Congress. He also attended the Constitutional Convention and was one of the signers of the United States Constitution on September 17, 1787, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania...

 declared that "laws or compacts imposing any such condition [slavery] upon any human being are absolutely void, because contrary to the law of nature, which is the law of God, by which he makes his ways known to man, and is paramount to all human control." The amendment failed and Missouri became a slave state. According to historian David Brion Davis
David Brion Davis
David Brion Davis is an American historian and authority on slavery and abolition in the Western world. He is the Sterling Professor of History Emeritus at Yale University and founder and Director Emeritus of Yale’s Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition. He is a...

, this may have been the first time in the world that a political leader openly attacked slavery's perceived legality in such a radical manner.

Beginning in the 1830s, the U.S. Postmaster General
United States Postmaster General
The United States Postmaster General is the Chief Executive Officer of the United States Postal Service. The office, in one form or another, is older than both the United States Constitution and the United States Declaration of Independence...

 refused to allow the mails to carry abolition pamphlets to the South. Northern teachers suspected of abolitionism were expelled from the South, and abolitionist literature was banned. Southerners rejected the denials of Republicans that they were abolitionists. They pointed to John Brown's
John Brown (abolitionist)
John Brown was an American revolutionary abolitionist, who in the 1850s advocated and practiced armed insurrection as a means to abolish slavery in the United States. He led the Pottawatomie Massacre during which five men were killed, in 1856 in Bleeding Kansas, and made his name in the...

 attempt in 1859 to start a slave uprising as proof that multiple Northern conspiracies were afoot to ignite bloody slave rebellions. Although some abolitionists did call for slave revolts, no evidence of any other Brown-like conspiracy has been discovered. The North felt threatened as well, for as Eric Foner concludes, "Northerners came to view slavery as the very antithesis of the good society, as well as a threat to their own fundamental values and interests". However, many conservative Northerners were uneasy at the prospect of the sudden addition to the labor pool of a huge number of freed laborers who were used to working for very little, and thus seen as being willing to undercut prevailing wages.. The famous, "fiery" Abolitionist, Abby Kelley Foster, from Massachusetts
Massachusetts
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. It is bordered by Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the north; at its east lies the Atlantic Ocean. As of the 2010...

, was considered an "ultra" abolitionist who believed in full civil rights for all black people. She held to the views that the freed slaves would colonize Liberia. Parts of the anti-slavery movement became known as "Abby Kellyism". She recruited Susan B Anthony to the movement.

Colonization and the founding of Liberia



In the early part of the 19th century, a variety of organizations were established advocating the movement of black people from the United States to locations where they would enjoy greater freedom; some endorsed colonization
Colony
In politics and history, a colony is a territory under the immediate political control of a state. For colonies in antiquity, city-states would often found their own colonies. Some colonies were historically countries, while others were territories without definite statehood from their inception....

, while others advocated emigration
Emigration
Emigration is the act of leaving one's country or region to settle in another. It is the same as immigration but from the perspective of the country of origin. Human movement before the establishment of political boundaries or within one state is termed migration. There are many reasons why people...

. During the 1820s and 1830s the American Colonization Society
American Colonization Society
The American Colonization Society , founded in 1816, was the primary vehicle to support the "return" of free African Americans to what was considered greater freedom in Africa. It helped to found the colony of Liberia in 1821–22 as a place for freedmen...

 (A.C.S.) was the primary vehicle for proposals to return black Americans to freedom in Africa. It had broad support nationwide among white people, including prominent leaders such as Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. He successfully led his country through a great constitutional, military and moral crisis – the American Civil War – preserving the Union, while ending slavery, and...

, Henry Clay
Henry Clay
Henry Clay, Sr. , was a lawyer, politician and skilled orator who represented Kentucky separately in both the Senate and in the House of Representatives...

 and James Monroe
James Monroe
James Monroe was the fifth President of the United States . Monroe was the last president who was a Founding Father of the United States, and the last president from the Virginia dynasty and the Republican Generation...

, who saw this as preferable to emancipation
Emancipation
Emancipation means the act of setting an individual or social group free or making equal to citizens in a political society.Emancipation may also refer to:* Emancipation , a champion Australian thoroughbred racehorse foaled in 1979...

, with Clay stating: "unconquerable prejudice resulting from their color, they never could amalgamate with the free whites of this country. It was desirable, therefore, as it respected them, and the residue of the population of the country, to drain them off". Clay argued that as blacks could never be fully integrated into society due to "unconquerable prejudice" by white Americans, it would be better for them to emigrate to Africa. There was however, considerable opposition among African Americans, many of whom did not see colonization as a viable or acceptable solution to their daunting problems in the United States. One notable opponent of such plans was the wealthy free black abolitionist James Forten
James Forten
James Forten was an African-American abolitionist and wealthy businessman. He worked at many jobs, including dentist, carpenter, pastor and minuteman....

 of Philadelphia.

After a series of attempts to plant small settlements on the coast of West Africa
West Africa
West Africa or Western Africa is the westernmost region of the African continent. Geopolitically, the UN definition of Western Africa includes the following 16 countries and an area of approximately 5 million square km:-Flags of West Africa:...

, the A.C.S. established the colony of Liberia
Liberia
Liberia , officially the Republic of Liberia, is a country in West Africa. It is bordered by Sierra Leone on the west, Guinea on the north and Côte d'Ivoire on the east. Liberia's coastline is composed of mostly mangrove forests while the more sparsely populated inland consists of forests that open...

 in 1821–22. Over the next four decades, it assisted thousands of former slaves and free black people to move there from the United States. The disease environment they encountered was extreme, and most of the migrants died fairly quickly. Enough survived to declare independence
History of Liberia
Liberia was set up by citizens of the United States as a colony for former African-American slaves. It is one of only two sovereign states in the world that were started by citizens of a political power as a colony for former slaves of the same political power: Sierra Leone was begun as a colony...

 in 1847. American support for colonization waned gradually through the 1840s and 1850s, largely because of the efforts of abolitionists to promote emancipation of slaves and granting of American citizenship. Americo-Liberian
Americo-Liberian
Americo-Liberians are a Liberian ethnicity of African American descent. The sister ethnic group of Americo Liberians are the Sierra Leone Creole people who are of African American, West Indian, and liberated African descent...

s ruled Liberia continuously until the military coup
Coup d'état
A coup d'état state, literally: strike/blow of state)—also known as a coup, putsch, and overthrow—is the sudden, extrajudicial deposition of a government, usually by a small group of the existing state establishment—typically the military—to replace the deposed government with another body; either...

 of 1980.

Emigration


The emigrationist tradition dated back to the Revolutionary War era. Initially, the thought was that free African Americans would want to emigrate to Africa, but over time other ideas became popular. After Haiti became independent, it tried to recruit African Americans to migrate there after it re-established trade relations with the United States. The Haytian Union was the name of a group formed to promote relations between the countries.

Cincinnati's Black community sponsored founding the Wilberforce Colony
Wilberforce Colony
Wilberforce Colony was a colony established by free American Black citizens, founded at the end of the second decade of the 19th century north of present day London, Ontario, Canada. This was one of several movements initially growing from or sympathetic to the American Colonization Society,...

, an initially successful settlement of African American immigrants to Canada. The colony was one of the first such independent political entities. It lasted for a number of decades and provided a destination for about 200 black families emigrating from a number of locations in the United States.

Religion and morality


The Second Great Awakening
Second Great Awakening
The Second Great Awakening was a Christian revival movement during the early 19th century in the United States. The movement began around 1800, had begun to gain momentum by 1820, and was in decline by 1870. The Second Great Awakening expressed Arminian theology, by which every person could be...

 of the 1820s and 1830s in religion inspired groups that undertook many types of social reform. For some that meant the immediate abolition of slavery because it was a sin to hold slaves and a sin to tolerate slavery. "Abolitionist" had several meanings at the time. The followers of William Lloyd Garrison
William Lloyd Garrison
William Lloyd Garrison was a prominent American abolitionist, journalist, and social reformer. He is best known as the editor of the abolitionist newspaper The Liberator, and as one of the founders of the American Anti-Slavery Society, he promoted "immediate emancipation" of slaves in the United...

, including Wendell Phillips
Wendell Phillips
Wendell Phillips was an American abolitionist, advocate for Native Americans, and orator. He was an exceptional orator and agitator, advocate and lawyer, writer and debater.-Education:...

 and Frederick Douglass
Frederick Douglass
Frederick Douglass was an American social reformer, orator, writer and statesman. After escaping from slavery, he became a leader of the abolitionist movement, gaining note for his dazzling oratory and incisive antislavery writing...

, demanded the "immediate abolition of slavery", hence the name. A more pragmatic group of abolitionists, like Theodore Weld and Arthur Tappan, wanted immediate action, but that action might well be a program of gradual emancipation, with a long intermediate stage. "Antislavery men", like John Quincy Adams
John Quincy Adams
John Quincy Adams was the sixth President of the United States . He served as an American diplomat, Senator, and Congressional representative. He was a member of the Federalist, Democratic-Republican, National Republican, and later Anti-Masonic and Whig parties. Adams was the son of former...

, did not call slavery a sin. They called it an evil feature of society as a whole. They did what they could to limit slavery and end it where possible, but were not part of any abolitionist group. For example, in 1841 Adams represented the Amistad African slaves in the Supreme Court of the United States
Supreme Court of the United States
The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the United States. It has ultimate appellate jurisdiction over all state and federal courts, and original jurisdiction over a small range of cases...

 and argued that they should be set free.http://www.npg.si.edu/col/amistad/index.htm In the last years before the war, "antislavery" could mean the Northern majority, like Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. He successfully led his country through a great constitutional, military and moral crisis – the American Civil War – preserving the Union, while ending slavery, and...

, who opposed expansion of slavery or its influence, as by the Kansas-Nebraska Act, or the Fugitive Slave Act. Many Southerners called all these abolitionists, without distinguishing them from the Garrisonians.

Historian James Stewart (1976) explains the abolitionists' deep beliefs: "All people were equal in God's sight; the souls of black folks were as valuable as those of whites; for one of God's children to enslave another was a violation of the Higher Law, even if it was sanctioned by the Constitution."

Slave owners were angry over the attacks on what some Southerners (including the politician John C. Calhoun
John C. Calhoun
John Caldwell Calhoun was a leading politician and political theorist from South Carolina during the first half of the 19th century. Calhoun eloquently spoke out on every issue of his day, but often changed positions. Calhoun began his political career as a nationalist, modernizer, and proponent...

 http://www.clemson.edu/welcome/history/forthill/calhoun.htm) referred to as their peculiar institution
Peculiar institution
" peculiar institution" was a euphemism for slavery and the economic ramifications of it in the American South. The meaning of "peculiar" in this expression is "one's own", that is, referring to something distinctive to or characteristic of a particular place or people...

 of slavery. Starting in the 1830s, there was a vehement and growing ideological defense of slavery. Slave owners claimed that slavery was a positive good for masters and slaves alike, and that it was explicitly sanctioned by God. Biblical arguments were made in defense of slavery by religious leaders such as the Rev. Fred A. Ross and political leaders such as Jefferson Davis
Jefferson Davis
Jefferson Finis Davis , also known as Jeff Davis, was an American statesman and leader of the Confederacy during the American Civil War, serving as President for its entire history. He was born in Kentucky to Samuel and Jane Davis...

. There were Southern biblical interpretations that directly contradicted those of the abolitionists, such as the theory that a curse on Noah's son Ham and his descendants in Africa was a justification for enslavement of blacks.

Garrison and immediate emancipation



A radical shift came in the 1830s, led by William Lloyd Garrison
William Lloyd Garrison
William Lloyd Garrison was a prominent American abolitionist, journalist, and social reformer. He is best known as the editor of the abolitionist newspaper The Liberator, and as one of the founders of the American Anti-Slavery Society, he promoted "immediate emancipation" of slaves in the United...

, who demanded "immediate emancipation, gradually achieved". That is, he demanded that slave-owners repent immediately, and set up a system of emancipation. Theodore Weld, an evangelical minister, and Robert Purvis
Robert Purvis
Robert Purvis was an African-American abolitionist in the United States. He was born in Charleston, South Carolina, educated at Amherst College, and lived most of his life in Philadelphia. Purvis and his brothers were three-quarters European by ancestry and inherited considerable wealth from...

, a free African American, joined Garrison in 1833 to form the American Anti-Slavery Society
American Anti-Slavery Society
The American Anti-Slavery Society was an abolitionist society founded by William Lloyd Garrison and Arthur Tappan. Frederick Douglass was a key leader of this society and often spoke at its meetings. William Wells Brown was another freed slave who often spoke at meetings. By 1838, the society had...

 (Faragher 381). The following year Weld encouraged a group of students at Lane Theological Seminary to form an anti-slavery society. After the president, Lyman Beecher
Lyman Beecher
Lyman Beecher was a Presbyterian minister, American Temperance Society co-founder and leader, and the father of 13 children, many of whom were noted leaders, including Harriet Beecher Stowe, Henry Ward Beecher, Charles Beecher, Edward Beecher, Isabella Beecher Hooker, Catharine Beecher, and Thomas...

, attempted to suppress it, the students moved to Oberlin College
Oberlin College
Oberlin College is a private liberal arts college in Oberlin, Ohio, noteworthy for having been the first American institution of higher learning to regularly admit female and black students. Connected to the college is the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, the oldest continuously operating...

. Due to the students' anti-slavery position, Oberlin soon became one of the most liberal colleges and accepted African American students. Along with Garrison, were Northcutt and Collins as proponents of immediate abolition. These two ardent abolitionists felt very strongly that it could not wait and that action needed to be taken right away. Abby Kelley Foster became an "ultra abolitionist" and a follower of William Lloyd Garrison. She led Susan B. Anthony
Susan B. Anthony
Susan Brownell Anthony was a prominent American civil rights leader who played a pivotal role in the 19th century women's rights movement to introduce women's suffrage into the United States. She was co-founder of the first Women's Temperance Movement with Elizabeth Cady Stanton as President...

 as well as Elizabeth Cady Stanton into the anti-slavery cause.

After 1840 "abolition" usually referred to positions like Garrison's; it was largely an ideological movement led by about 3000 people, including free blacks and people of color, many of whom, such as Frederick Douglass
Frederick Douglass
Frederick Douglass was an American social reformer, orator, writer and statesman. After escaping from slavery, he became a leader of the abolitionist movement, gaining note for his dazzling oratory and incisive antislavery writing...

, and Robert Purvis
Robert Purvis
Robert Purvis was an African-American abolitionist in the United States. He was born in Charleston, South Carolina, educated at Amherst College, and lived most of his life in Philadelphia. Purvis and his brothers were three-quarters European by ancestry and inherited considerable wealth from...

 and James Forten
James Forten
James Forten was an African-American abolitionist and wealthy businessman. He worked at many jobs, including dentist, carpenter, pastor and minuteman....

 in Philadelphia, played prominent leadership roles. Douglass became legally free during a two year stay in England, as British supporters raised funds to purchase his freedom from his American owner Thomas Auld, and also helped fund his abolitionist newspapers in the US. Abolitionism had a strong religious base including Quakers, and people converted by the revivalist fervor of the Second Great Awakening
Second Great Awakening
The Second Great Awakening was a Christian revival movement during the early 19th century in the United States. The movement began around 1800, had begun to gain momentum by 1820, and was in decline by 1870. The Second Great Awakening expressed Arminian theology, by which every person could be...

, led by Charles Finney in the North in the 1830s. Belief in abolition contributed to the breaking away of some small denominations, such as the Free Methodist Church
Free Methodist Church
The Free Methodist Church is a Methodist Christian denomination within the holiness movement. It is evangelical in nature and has its roots in the Arminian-Wesleyan tradition....

.

Evangelical
Evangelicalism
Evangelicalism is a Protestant Christian movement which began in Great Britain in the 1730s and gained popularity in the United States during the series of Great Awakenings of the 18th and 19th century.Its key commitments are:...

 abolitionists founded some colleges, most notably Bates College
Bates College
Bates College is a highly selective, private liberal arts college located in Lewiston, Maine, in the United States. and was most recently ranked 21st in the nation in the 2011 US News Best Liberal Arts Colleges rankings. The college was founded in 1855 by abolitionists...

 in Maine
Maine
Maine is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the east and south, New Hampshire to the west, and the Canadian provinces of Quebec to the northwest and New Brunswick to the northeast. Maine is both the northernmost and easternmost...

 and Oberlin College
Oberlin College
Oberlin College is a private liberal arts college in Oberlin, Ohio, noteworthy for having been the first American institution of higher learning to regularly admit female and black students. Connected to the college is the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, the oldest continuously operating...

 in Ohio
Ohio
Ohio is a Midwestern state in the United States. The 34th largest state by area in the U.S.,it is the 7th‑most populous with over 11.5 million residents, containing several major American cities and seven metropolitan areas with populations of 500,000 or more.The state's capital is Columbus...

. The well-established colleges, such as Harvard
Harvard University
Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered in the country...

, Yale
Yale University
Yale University is a private, Ivy League university located in New Haven, Connecticut, United States. Founded in 1701 in the Colony of Connecticut, the university is the third-oldest institution of higher education in the United States...

 and Princeton
Princeton University
Princeton University is a private research university located in Princeton, New Jersey, United States. The school is one of the eight universities of the Ivy League, and is one of the nine Colonial Colleges founded before the American Revolution....

, generally opposed abolition, although the movement did attract such figures as Yale president Noah Porter
Noah Porter
Noah Porter, Jr. was an American academic, philosopher, author, lexicographer and President of Yale College .-Biography:...

 and Harvard president Thomas Hill
Thomas Hill (clergyman)
-References:...

.

In the North, most opponents of slavery supported other modernizing reform movements such as the temperance movement
Temperance movement
A temperance movement is a social movement urging reduced use of alcoholic beverages. Temperance movements may criticize excessive alcohol use, promote complete abstinence , or pressure the government to enact anti-alcohol legislation or complete prohibition of alcohol.-Temperance movement by...

, public schooling, and prison- and asylum-building. They were split bitterly on the role of women's activism.

Abolitionists like William Lloyd Garrison
William Lloyd Garrison
William Lloyd Garrison was a prominent American abolitionist, journalist, and social reformer. He is best known as the editor of the abolitionist newspaper The Liberator, and as one of the founders of the American Anti-Slavery Society, he promoted "immediate emancipation" of slaves in the United...

 repeatedly condemned slavery for contradicting the principles of freedom and equality on which the country was founded. In 1854, Garrison wrote:
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 inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." Hence, I am an abolitionist. Hence, I cannot but regard oppression in every form – and most of all, that which turns a man into a thing – with indignation and abhorrence. Not to cherish these feelings would be recreancy to principle. They who desire me to be dumb on the subject of slavery, unless I will open my mouth in its defense, ask me to give the lie to my professions, to degrade my manhood, and to stain my soul. I will not be a liar, a poltroon, or a hypocrite, to accommodate any party, to gratify any sect, to escape any odium or peril, to save any interest, to preserve any institution, or to promote any object. Convince me that one man may rightfully make another man his slave, and I will no longer subscribe to the Declaration of Independence. Convince me that liberty is not the inalienable birthright of every human being, of whatever complexion or clime, and I will give that instrument to the consuming fire. I do not know how to espouse freedom and slavery together.


Uncle Tom’s Cabin


The most influential abolitionist tract was Uncle Tom’s Cabin
Uncle Tom's Cabin
Uncle Tom's Cabin; or, Life Among the Lowly is an anti-slavery novel by American author Harriet Beecher Stowe. Published in 1852, the novel "helped lay the groundwork for the Civil War", according to Will Kaufman....

 (1852), the best-selling novel and play by Harriet Beecher Stowe
Harriet Beecher Stowe
Harriet Beecher Stowe was an American abolitionist and author. Her novel Uncle Tom's Cabin was a depiction of life for African-Americans under slavery; it reached millions as a novel and play, and became influential in the United States and United Kingdom...

. Outraged by the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850
Fugitive Slave Law of 1850
The Fugitive Slave Law or Fugitive Slave Act was passed by the United States Congress on September 18, 1850, as part of the Compromise of 1850 between Southern slave holding interests and Northern Free-Soilers. This was one of the most controversial acts of the 1850 compromise and heightened...

 (which made the escape narrative part of everyday news), Stowe emphasized the horrors that abolitionists had long claimed about slavery. Her depiction of the evil slave owner Simon Legree, a transplanted Yankee who kills the Christ-like Uncle Tom, outraged the North, helped sway British public opinion against the South, and inflamed Southern slave owners who tried to refute it by showing some slave owners were humanitarian.

Irish Catholics


Daniel O'Connell
Daniel O'Connell
Daniel O'Connell Daniel O'Connell Daniel O'Connell (6 August 1775 – 15 May 1847; often referred to as The Liberator, or The Emancipator, was an Irish political leader in the first half of the 19th century...

, the Catholic leader of the Irish in Ireland, supported the abolition of slavery in the British Empire and in America. O'Connell had played a leading role in securing Catholic Emancipation
Catholic Emancipation
Catholic emancipation or Catholic relief was a process in Great Britain and Ireland in the late 18th century and early 19th century which involved reducing and removing many of the restrictions on Roman Catholics which had been introduced by the Act of Uniformity, the Test Acts and the penal laws...

 (the removal of the civil and political disabilities of Roman Catholics in Great Britain and Ireland) and he was one of William Lloyd Garrison
William Lloyd Garrison
William Lloyd Garrison was a prominent American abolitionist, journalist, and social reformer. He is best known as the editor of the abolitionist newspaper The Liberator, and as one of the founders of the American Anti-Slavery Society, he promoted "immediate emancipation" of slaves in the United...

's models. Garrison recruited him to the cause of American abolitionism. O'Connell, the black abolitionist Charles Lenox Remond
Charles Lenox Remond
Charles Lenox Remond was an American orator, abolitionist and military organizer during the American Civil War...

, and the temperance priest Theobald Mathew
Theobald Mathew (temperance reformer)
Theobald Mathew , an Irish teetotalist reformer, popularly known as Father Mathew was born at Thomastown, near Golden, County Tipperary, on October 10, 1790....

 organized a petition with 60,000 signatures urging the Irish of the United States to support abolition. O'Connell also spoke in the United States for abolition.


The Repeal Association
Repeal Association
The Repeal Association was an Irish mass membership political movement set up by Daniel O'Connell to campaign for a repeal of the Act of Union of 1800 between Great Britain and Ireland....

s in the United States mostly took a pro-slavery position. Several reasons have been suggested for this: that Irish
Irish people
The Irish people are an ethnic group who originate in Ireland, an island in northwestern Europe. Ireland has been populated for around 9,000 years , with the Irish people's earliest ancestors recorded having legends of being descended from groups such as the Nemedians, Fomorians, Fir Bolg, Tuatha...

 immigrants were competing with free blacks for jobs, and disliked having the same arguments used for Irish and for black freedom; that they were loyal to the United States Constitution
United States Constitution
The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the United States of America. It is the framework for the organization of the United States government and for the relationship of the federal government with the states, citizens, and all people within the United States.The first three...

, which defended their liberties, and disliked the fundamentally extra-constitutional position of the Abolitionists; and that they perceived abolitionism as Protestant, and were therefore suspicious of them. In addition, slaveholders had no hesitation in voicing their support for the freedom of Ireland, a white nation outside the United States. However, it would be difficult to find evidence in the letters or oral tradition of immigrant families that would differentiate them from most Americans of the period. In fact with most immigrants settling in the North, there was actually very little competition for work between poor immigrants and the North's relatively small African-American population. Most of the energy of immigrant families was directed at securing their daily livings and spiritual lives with what was left over for politics channelled into local issues concerning public safety and education.

Radical Irish nationalists – those who broke with O'Connell over his refusal to contemplate the violent overthrow of British rule in Ireland – had a diversity of views about slavery. John Mitchel
John Mitchel
John Mitchel was an Irish nationalist activist, solicitor and political journalist. Born in Camnish, near Dungiven, County Londonderry, Ireland he became a leading member of both Young Ireland and the Irish Confederation...

, who spent the years 1853 to 1875 in America, was a passionate propagandist in favor of slavery; three of his sons fought in the Confederate Army
Confederate States Army
The Confederate States Army was the army of the Confederate States of America while the Confederacy existed during the American Civil War. On February 8, 1861, delegates from the seven Deep South states which had already declared their secession from the United States of America adopted the...

. On the other hand, his former close associate Thomas Francis Meagher
Thomas Francis Meagher
-Young Ireland:Meagher returned to Ireland in 1843, with undecided plans for a career in the Austrian army, a tradition among a number of Irish families. In 1844 he traveled to Dublin with the intention of studying for the bar. He became involved in the Repeal Association, which worked for repeal...

 served as a Brigadier General in the United States Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

 during the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

.

The Catholic Church in America had long ties in slaveholding Maryland and Louisiana. Despite a firm stand for the spiritual equality of black people, and the resounding condemnation of slavery by Pope Gregory XVI in his bull In Supremo Apostolatus
In Supremo Apostolatus
In Supremo Apostolatus is a papal bull issued by Pope Gregory XVI regarding the institution of slavery. Issued on December 3, 1839 as a result of a broad consultation among the College of Cardinals, the bull resoundingly denounces both the slave trade and the continuance of the institution of...

issued in 1839, the American church continued in deeds, if not in public discourse, like most of America, to avoid confrontation with slaveholding interests. In 1842, the Archbishop of New York while denouncing slavery, objected to O'Connell's petition if authentic as unwarranted foreign interference. The Bishop of Charleston declared that, while Catholic tradition opposed slave trading, it had nothing against slavery. However, in 1861, the Archbishop of New York wrote to Secretary of War Cameron: "That the Church is opposed to slavery...Her doctrine on that subject is, that it is a crime to reduce men naturally free to a condition of servitude and bondage, as slaves." No American bishop supported extra-polictical abolition or interference with state's rights before the Civil War. During the Civil War, however, the Archbishop of New York, John Hughes, who was an ally of Lincoln and Seward would denounce Southern bishops as follows: "In their periodicals in New Orleans and Charleston, they have justified the attitude taken by the South on principles of Catholic theology, which I think was an unnecessary, inexpedient, and, for that matter, a doubtful if not dangerous position, at the commencement of so unnatural and lamentable a struggle."

One historian observed that ritualist churches separated themselves from heretics rather than sinners; he observed that Episcopalians and Lutherans also accommodated themselves to slavery. (Indeed, one southern Episcopal bishop was a Confederate general.) There were more reasons than religious tradition, however, as the Anglican Church had been the established church in the South during the colonial period. It was linked to the traditions of landed gentry and the wealthier and educated planter classes, and the Southern traditions longer than any other church. In addition, while the Protestant missionaries of the Great Awakening initially opposed slavery in the South, by the early decades of the 19th century, Baptist and Methodist preachers in the South had come to an accommodation with it in order to evangelize with farmers and artisans. By the Civil War, the Baptist and Methodist churches split into regional associations because of slavery.

After O'Connell's failure, the American Repeal Associations broke up; but the Garrisonians rarely relapsed into the "bitter hostility" of American Protestants towards the Roman Church. Some antislavery men joined the Know Nothings in the collapse of the parties; but Edmund Quincy
Edmund Quincy (1808-1877)
Edmond Quincy , author and reformer was the second son of Josiah Quincy III and Eliza Susan Morton Quincy. He was an abolitionist editor and also the author of a biography of his father, a romance, Wensley , and The Haunted Adjutant and Other Stories .His father was US representative , mayor of...

 ridiculed it as a mushroom growth, a distraction from the real issues. Although the Know-Nothing legislature of Massachusetts honored Garrison, he continued to oppose them as violators of fundamental rights to freedom of worship.

In deeds, however, if not by proclamations, the Irish would play a leading roll in defeating the South and ending slavery. General William Tecumseh Sherman, General Phil Sheridan, General George Meade, General John Reynolds, and Dennis Hart Mahan were all raised by Irish families. Indeed Sherman and Sheridan attended mass at the same Catholic church in Ohio as children. 137 Irish immigrants were awarded the Medal of Honor for Civil War valor, far more than any other immigrant group. After participating in the assault that broke the Confederate center at Antietam New York City's Irish Brigade would be worse than decimated in repeated desperate assaults on the stonewall at Fredericksburg on the eve of Emancipation. In the war's little known last chapter, after Appomottox, General Phil Sheridan took command to the Union army's African-American 25th Corps and was sent by Grant with an armada to pacify Texas. Later President Johnson would relieve Sheridan of command because of Sheridans aggressive enforcement of Reconstruction in Texas and Louisiana.

In the final analysis, none of Lincoln's most prominent opponents were Irish: George McClellan, August Belmont, Fernando Wood, James Bennett, and Clement Vallandigham. Of these only Bennett, who shared a mutual dislike of each other with the "Archbishop of New York" was a Catholic.

Progress of abolition in the United States


To 1804

Although there were several groups that opposed slavery (such as the Society for the Relief of Free Negroes Unlawfully Held in Bondage
Society for the Relief of Free Negroes Unlawfully Held in Bondage
The Society for the Relief of Free Negroes Unlawfully Held in Bondage was the first American abolition society. It was initially formed April 14, 1775, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and held four meetings. Seventeen of the 24 men who attended initial meetings of the Society were Quakers...

), at the time of the founding of the Republic, there were few states which prohibited slavery outright. The Constitution
United States Constitution
The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the United States of America. It is the framework for the organization of the United States government and for the relationship of the federal government with the states, citizens, and all people within the United States.The first three...

 had several provisions which accommodated slavery, although none used the word. Passed unanimously by the Congress of the Confederation
Congress of the Confederation
The Congress of the Confederation or the United States in Congress Assembled was the governing body of the United States of America that existed from March 1, 1781, to March 4, 1789. It comprised delegates appointed by the legislatures of the states. It was the immediate successor to the Second...

 in 1787, the Northwest Ordinance
Northwest Ordinance
The Northwest Ordinance was an act of the Congress of the Confederation of the United States, passed July 13, 1787...

 forbade slavery in the Northwest Territory
Northwest Territory
The Territory Northwest of the River Ohio, more commonly known as the Northwest Territory, was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from July 13, 1787, until March 1, 1803, when the southeastern portion of the territory was admitted to the Union as the state of Ohio...

, a vast area which had previously belonged to individual states in which slavery was legal.
American abolitionism began very early, well before the United States was founded as a nation. An early law abolishing slavery (but not temporary indentured servitude) in Rhode Island in 1652 floundered within 50 years. Samuel Sewall
Samuel Sewall
Samuel Sewall was a Massachusetts judge, best known for his involvement in the Salem witch trials, for which he later apologized, and his essay The Selling of Joseph , which criticized slavery.-Biography:...

, a prominent Bostonian and one of the judges at the Salem Witch Trials
Salem witch trials
The Salem witch trials were a series of hearings before county court trials to prosecute people accused of witchcraft in the counties of Essex, Suffolk, and Middlesex in colonial Massachusetts, between February 1692 and May 1693...

, wrote The Selling of Joseph in protest of the widening practice of outright slavery as opposed to indentured servitude in the colonies. This is the earliest-recorded anti-slavery tract published in the future United States.

In 1777, Vermont
Vermont
Vermont is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. The state ranks 43rd in land area, , and 45th in total area. Its population according to the 2010 census, 630,337, is the second smallest in the country, larger only than Wyoming. It is the only New England...

, not yet a state, became the first jurisdiction in North America to prohibit slavery: slaves were not directly freed, but masters were required to remove slaves from Vermont. The first state to begin a gradual abolition of slavery was Pennsylvania, in 1780. All importation of slaves was prohibited, but none freed at first; only the slaves of masters who failed to register them with the state, along with the "future children" of enslaved mothers. Those enslaved in Pennsylvania before the 1780 law went into effect were not freed until 1847.

Massachusetts took an opposite and much more radical position. Its Supreme Court ruled in 1783, that a black man was, indeed, a man; and therefore free under the state's constitution.



All of the other states north of Maryland
Maryland
Maryland is a U.S. state located in the Mid Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware to its east...

 began gradual abolition of slavery between 1781 and 1804, based on the Pennsylvania model. Rhode Island
Rhode Island
The state of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, more commonly referred to as Rhode Island , is a state in the New England region of the United States. It is the smallest U.S. state by area...

 had limited slave trading in 1774 (Virginia
Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

 had also attempted to do so before the Revolution, but the Privy Council had vetoed the act), all the other northern states also limited the slave trade by 1786, and Georgia in 1798. These northern emancipation acts typically provided that slaves born before the law was passed would be freed at a certain age, and so remnants of slavery lingered; in New Jersey
New Jersey
New Jersey is a state in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of the United States. , its population was 8,791,894. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York, on the southeast and south by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Pennsylvania and on the southwest by Delaware...

, a dozen "permanent apprentices" were recorded in the 1860 census.
South

The institution remained solid in the South, however and that region's customs and social beliefs evolved into a strident defense of slavery in response to the rise of a stronger anti-slavery stance in the North. In 1835 alone abolitionists mailed over a million pieces of anti-slavery literature to the south. In response southern legislators banned abolitionist literature and encouraged harassment of anyone distributing it.
Immediate abolition

Abolitionists included those who joined the American Anti-Slavery Society
American Anti-Slavery Society
The American Anti-Slavery Society was an abolitionist society founded by William Lloyd Garrison and Arthur Tappan. Frederick Douglass was a key leader of this society and often spoke at its meetings. William Wells Brown was another freed slave who often spoke at meetings. By 1838, the society had...

 or its auxiliary groups in the 1830s and 1840s as the movement fragmented. The fragmented anti-slavery movement included groups such as the Liberty Party
Liberty Party (1840s)
The Liberty Party was a minor political party in the United States in the 1840s . The party was an early advocate of the abolitionist cause...

; the American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society; the American Missionary Association; and the Church Anti-Slavery Society. Historians traditionally distinguish between moderate antislavery reformers or gradualists, who concentrated on stopping the spread of slavery, and radical abolitionists or immediatists, whose demands for unconditional emancipation often merged with a concern for black civil rights. However, James Stewart advocates a more nuanced understanding of the relationship of abolition and antislavery prior to the Civil War:
While instructive, the distinction [between antislavery and abolition] can also be misleading, especially in assessing abolitionism's political impact. For one thing, slaveholders never bothered with such fine points. Many immediate abolitionists showed no less concern than did other white Northerners about the fate of the nation's "precious legacies of freedom." Immediatism became most difficult to distinguish from broader anti-Southern opinions once ordinary citizens began articulating these intertwining beliefs.


Anti-slavery people were outraged by the murder of Elijah Parish Lovejoy, a white man and editor of an abolitionist newspaper on 7 November 1837, by a pro-slavery mob in Illinois. Nearly all Northern politicians rejected the extreme positions of the abolitionists; Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. He successfully led his country through a great constitutional, military and moral crisis – the American Civil War – preserving the Union, while ending slavery, and...

, for example. Indeed many northern leaders including Lincoln, Stephen Douglas (the Democratic
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

 nominee in 1860), John C. Fremont
John C. Frémont
John Charles Frémont , was an American military officer, explorer, and the first candidate of the anti-slavery Republican Party for the office of President of the United States. During the 1840s, that era's penny press accorded Frémont the sobriquet The Pathfinder...

 (the Republican
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

 nominee in 1856), and Ulysses S. Grant
Ulysses S. Grant
Ulysses S. Grant was the 18th President of the United States as well as military commander during the Civil War and post-war Reconstruction periods. Under Grant's command, the Union Army defeated the Confederate military and ended the Confederate States of America...

 married into slave owning southern families without any moral qualms.

Antislavery as a principle was far more than just the wish to limit the extent of slavery. Most Northerners recognized that slavery existed in the South and the Constitution did not allow the federal government to intervene there. Most Northerners favored a policy of gradual and compensated emancipation. After 1849 abolitionists rejected this and demanded it end immediately and everywhere. John Brown
John Brown (abolitionist)
John Brown was an American revolutionary abolitionist, who in the 1850s advocated and practiced armed insurrection as a means to abolish slavery in the United States. He led the Pottawatomie Massacre during which five men were killed, in 1856 in Bleeding Kansas, and made his name in the...

 was the only abolitionist known to have actually planned a violent insurrection, though David Walker
David Walker (abolitionist)
David Walker was an outspoken African American activist who demanded the immediate end of slavery in the new nation...

 promoted the idea. The abolitionist movement was strengthened by the activities of free African-Americans, especially in the black church, who argued that the old Biblical justifications for slavery contradicted the New Testament
New Testament
The New Testament is the second major division of the Christian biblical canon, the first such division being the much longer Old Testament....

.

African-American activists and their writings were rarely heard outside the black community; however, they were tremendously influential to some sympathetic white people, most prominently the first white activist to reach prominence, William Lloyd Garrison
William Lloyd Garrison
William Lloyd Garrison was a prominent American abolitionist, journalist, and social reformer. He is best known as the editor of the abolitionist newspaper The Liberator, and as one of the founders of the American Anti-Slavery Society, he promoted "immediate emancipation" of slaves in the United...

, who was its most effective propagandist. Garrison's efforts to recruit eloquent spokesmen led to the discovery of ex-slave Frederick Douglass
Frederick Douglass
Frederick Douglass was an American social reformer, orator, writer and statesman. After escaping from slavery, he became a leader of the abolitionist movement, gaining note for his dazzling oratory and incisive antislavery writing...

, who eventually became a prominent activist in his own right. Eventually, Douglass would publish his own, widely distributed abolitionist newspaper, the North Star
North Star (newspaper)
The North Star was an anti-slavery newspaper. Abolitionist Frederick Douglass published the North Star until June 1851, when Douglass and Gerrit Smith agreed to merge the North Star with the Liberty Party Paper to form Frederick Douglass's Paper...

.

In the early 1850s, the American abolitionist movement split into two camps over the issue of the United States Constitution
United States Constitution
The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the United States of America. It is the framework for the organization of the United States government and for the relationship of the federal government with the states, citizens, and all people within the United States.The first three...

. This issue arose in the late 1840s
1840s
- Wars :*Mexican-American War was fought between Mexico and the United States of America. The latter emerged victorious and gained undisputed control over Texas while annexing portions of Arizona, California and New Mexico....

 after the publication of The Unconstitutionality of Slavery by Lysander Spooner
Lysander Spooner
Lysander Spooner was an American individualist anarchist, political philosopher, Deist, abolitionist, supporter of the labor movement, legal theorist, and entrepreneur of the nineteenth century. He is also known for competing with the U.S...

. The Garrisonians, led by Garrison and Wendell Phillips
Wendell Phillips
Wendell Phillips was an American abolitionist, advocate for Native Americans, and orator. He was an exceptional orator and agitator, advocate and lawyer, writer and debater.-Education:...

, publicly burned copies of the Constitution, called it a pact with slavery, and demanded its abolition and replacement. Another camp, led by Lysander Spooner
Lysander Spooner
Lysander Spooner was an American individualist anarchist, political philosopher, Deist, abolitionist, supporter of the labor movement, legal theorist, and entrepreneur of the nineteenth century. He is also known for competing with the U.S...

, Gerrit Smith
Gerrit Smith
Gerrit Smith was a leading United States social reformer, abolitionist, politician, and philanthropist...

, and eventually Douglass, considered the Constitution to be an antislavery document. Using an argument based upon Natural Law
Natural law
Natural law, or the law of nature , is any system of law which is purportedly determined by nature, and thus universal. Classically, natural law refers to the use of reason to analyze human nature and deduce binding rules of moral behavior. Natural law is contrasted with the positive law Natural...

 and a form of social contract
Social contract
The social contract is an intellectual device intended to explain the appropriate relationship between individuals and their governments. Social contract arguments assert that individuals unite into political societies by a process of mutual consent, agreeing to abide by common rules and accept...

 theory, they said that slavery existed outside of the Constitution's scope of legitimate authority and therefore should be abolished.

Another split in the abolitionist movement was along class
Social class
Social classes are economic or cultural arrangements of groups in society. Class is an essential object of analysis for sociologists, political scientists, economists, anthropologists and social historians. In the social sciences, social class is often discussed in terms of 'social stratification'...

 lines. The artisan republicanism of Robert Dale Owen
Robert Dale Owen
Robert Dale Owen was a longtime exponent in his adopted United States of the socialist doctrines of his father, Robert Owen, as well as a politician in the Democratic Party.-Biography:...

 and Frances Wright
Frances Wright
Frances Wright also widely known as Fanny Wright, was a Scottish-born lecturer, writer, freethinker, feminist, abolitionist, and social reformer, who became a U. S. citizen in 1825...

 stood in stark contrast to the politics of prominent elite abolitionists such as industrialist Arthur Tappan
Arthur Tappan
Arthur Tappan was an American abolitionist. He was the brother of Senator Benjamin Tappan, and abolitionist Lewis Tappan.-Biography:...

 and his evangelist brother Lewis
Lewis Tappan
Lewis Tappan was a New York abolitionist who worked to achieve the freedom of the illegally enslaved Africans of the Amistad. Contacted by Connecticut abolitionists soon after the Amistad arrived in port, Tappan focused extensively on the captive Africans...

. While the former pair opposed slavery on a basis of solidarity of "wage slaves" with "chattel slaves", the Whiggish
Whig Party (United States)
The Whig Party was a political party of the United States during the era of Jacksonian democracy. Considered integral to the Second Party System and operating from the early 1830s to the mid-1850s, the party was formed in opposition to the policies of President Andrew Jackson and his Democratic...

 Tappans strongly rejected this view, opposing the characterization of Northern workers as "slaves" in any sense. (Lott, 129–130)

Many American abolitionists took an active role in opposing slavery by supporting the Underground Railroad
Underground Railroad
The Underground Railroad was an informal network of secret routes and safe houses used by 19th-century black slaves in the United States to escape to free states and Canada with the aid of abolitionists and allies who were sympathetic to their cause. The term is also applied to the abolitionists,...

. This was made illegal by the federal Fugitive Slave Law of 1850
Fugitive Slave Law of 1850
The Fugitive Slave Law or Fugitive Slave Act was passed by the United States Congress on September 18, 1850, as part of the Compromise of 1850 between Southern slave holding interests and Northern Free-Soilers. This was one of the most controversial acts of the 1850 compromise and heightened...

. Nevertheless, participants like Harriet Tubman
Harriet Tubman
Harriet Tubman Harriet Tubman Harriet Tubman (born Araminta Harriet Ross; (1820 – 1913) was an African-American abolitionist, humanitarian, and Union spy during the American Civil War. After escaping from slavery, into which she was born, she made thirteen missions to rescue more than 70 slaves...

, Henry Highland Garnet
Henry Highland Garnet
Henry Highland Garnet was an African American abolitionist and orator. An advocate of militant abolitionism, Garnet was a prominent member of the abolition movement that led against moral suasion toward more political action. Renowned for his skills as a public speaker, he urged blacks to take...

, Alexander Crummell
Alexander Crummell
Alexander Crummell was a pioneering African pastor, professor and African nationalist....

, Amos Noë Freeman
Amos Noë Freeman
Amos Noë Freeman was an American abolitionist, Presbyterian minister and educator.-Early life:Freeman was a born in Rahway, New Jersey, and was orphaned and raised within the church from an early age. As a child, he was sent to attend the African Free School in Manhattan, then matriculated to...

 and others continued with their work. Abolitionists were particularly active in Ohio
Ohio
Ohio is a Midwestern state in the United States. The 34th largest state by area in the U.S.,it is the 7th‑most populous with over 11.5 million residents, containing several major American cities and seven metropolitan areas with populations of 500,000 or more.The state's capital is Columbus...

, where some worked directly in the Underground Railroad. Since the state shared a border with slave states, it was a popular place for slaves' escaping across the Ohio River
Ohio River
The Ohio River is the largest tributary, by volume, of the Mississippi River. At the confluence, the Ohio is even bigger than the Mississippi and, thus, is hydrologically the main stream of the whole river system, including the Allegheny River further upstream...

 and up its tributaries, where they sought shelter among supporters who would help them move north to freedom. Two significant events in the struggle to destroy slavery were the Oberlin-Wellington Rescue
Oberlin-Wellington Rescue
The Oberlin-Wellington Rescue of 1858 in Lorain County, Ohio was a key event and cause celèbre in the history of the abolitionist movement in the United States shortly before the American Civil War. John Price, an escaped slave, was arrested in Oberlin, Ohio under the Fugitive Slave Law, and taken...

 and John Brown
John Brown (abolitionist)
John Brown was an American revolutionary abolitionist, who in the 1850s advocated and practiced armed insurrection as a means to abolish slavery in the United States. He led the Pottawatomie Massacre during which five men were killed, in 1856 in Bleeding Kansas, and made his name in the...

's raid on Harpers Ferry. In the South, members of the abolitionist movement or other people opposing slavery
Slavery
Slavery is a system under which people are treated as property to be bought and sold, and are forced to work. Slaves can be held against their will from the time of their capture, purchase or birth, and deprived of the right to leave, to refuse to work, or to demand compensation...

 were often targets of lynch mob violence before the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

.

Numerous known abolitionists lived, worked, and worshipped in Downtown Brooklyn, from Henry Ward Beecher
Henry Ward Beecher
Henry Ward Beecher was a prominent Congregationalist clergyman, social reformer, abolitionist, and speaker in the mid to late 19th century...

, who auctioned slaves into freedom from the pulpit of Plymouth Church, to Nathan Egelston, a leader of the African and Foreign Antislavery Society, who also preached at Bridge Street AME and lived on Duffield Street. His fellow Duffield Street residents, Thomas and Harriet Truesdell were leading members of the Abolitionist movement. Mr. Truesdell was a founding member of the Providence Anti-slavery Society before moving to Brooklyn in 1851. Harriet Truesdell was also very active in the movement, organizing an antislavery convention in Pennsylvania Hall in Philadelphia. The Tuesdell's lived at 227 Duffield Street. Another prominent Brooklyn-based abolitionist was Rev. Joshua Leavitt
Joshua Leavitt
Rev. Joshua Leavitt was an American Congregationalist minister and former lawyer who became a prominent writer, editor and publisher of abolitionist literature. He was also a spokesman for the Liberty Party and a prominent campaigner for cheap postage...

, trained as a lawyer at Yale who stopped practicing law in order to attend Yale Divinity School, and subsequently edited the abolitionist newspaper The Emancipator and campaigned against slavery, as well as advocating other social reforms. In 1841 Leavitt published his The Financial Power of Slavery, which argued that the South was draining the national economy due to its reliance on slavery.

John Brown



Historian Frederick Blue called John Brown
John Brown (abolitionist)
John Brown was an American revolutionary abolitionist, who in the 1850s advocated and practiced armed insurrection as a means to abolish slavery in the United States. He led the Pottawatomie Massacre during which five men were killed, in 1856 in Bleeding Kansas, and made his name in the...

 "the most controversial of all nineteenth-century Americans." When Brown was hanged after his attempt to start a slave rebellion in 1859, church bells rang, minute guns were fired, large memorial meetings took place throughout the North, and famous writers such as Emerson
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ralph Waldo Emerson was an American essayist, lecturer, and poet, who led the Transcendentalist movement of the mid-19th century...

 and Henry David Thoreau
Henry David Thoreau
Henry David Thoreau was an American author, poet, philosopher, abolitionist, naturalist, tax resister, development critic, surveyor, historian, and leading transcendentalist...

 joined many Northerners in praising Brown. Whereas Garrison was a pacifist, Brown resorted to violence. Historians agree he played a major role in starting the war. Some historians regard Brown as a crazed lunatic while David S. Reynolds hails him as the man who "killed slavery, sparked the civil war, and seeded civil rights." For Ken Chowder he is "the father of American terrorism."

His famous raid in October 1859, involved a band of 22 men who seized the federal Harpers Ferry Armory
Harpers Ferry Armory
Harpers Ferry Armory, more formally known as the United States Armory and Arsenal at Harpers Ferry, was the second federal armory commissioned by the United States government located in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia , the first federal armory being the Springfield Armory located in Springfield,...

 at Harper's Ferry, Virginia, knowing it contained tens of thousands of weapons. Brown believed that the South was on the verge of a gigantic slave uprising and that one spark would set it off. Brown's supporters George Luther Stearns
George Luther Stearns
George Luther Stearns was an American industrialist and merchant, as well as a noted recruiter of blacks for the Union Army during the American Civil War.-Biography:...

, Franklin B. Sanborn, Thomas Wentworth Higginson
Thomas Wentworth Higginson
Thomas Wentworth Higginson was an American Unitarian minister, author, abolitionist, and soldier. He was active in the American Abolitionism movement during the 1840s and 1850s, identifying himself with disunion and militant abolitionism...

, Theodore Parker
Theodore Parker
Theodore Parker was an American Transcendentalist and reforming minister of the Unitarian church...

, Samuel Gridley Howe
Samuel Gridley Howe
Samuel Gridley Howe was a nineteenth century United States physician, abolitionist, and an advocate of education for the blind.-Early life and education:...

 and Gerrit Smith
Gerrit Smith
Gerrit Smith was a leading United States social reformer, abolitionist, politician, and philanthropist...

 were all abolitionist members of the Secret Six
Secret Six
The Secret Six, or the Secret Committee of Six, were six wealthy and influential men who secretly funded the American abolitionist, John Brown. They were Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Samuel Gridley Howe, Theodore Parker, Franklin Benjamin Sanborn, Gerrit Smith, and George Luther Stearns...

 who provided financial backing for Brown's raid. Brown's raid, says historian David Potter, "was meant to be of vast magnitude and to produce a revolutionary slave uprising throughout the South." The raid was a fiasco. Not a single slave revolted. Lt. Colonel Robert E. Lee of the U.S. Army was dispatched to put down the raid, and Brown was quickly captured. Brown was tried for treason against Virginia and hanged. At his trial, Brown exuded a remarkable zeal and single-mindedness that played directly to Southerners' worst fears. Few individuals did more to cause secession than John Brown, because Southerners believed he was right about an impending slave revolt. Shortly before his execution, Brown prophesied, "the crimes of this guilty land will never be purged away; but with Blood."

Civil War


Union leaders identified slavery as the social and economic foundation of the Confederacy, and from 1862 were determined to end that support system. Meanwhile pro-Union forces gained control of the Border States
Border states
Border states is a term referring to the European nations that won their independence from the Russian Empire after the Russian Revolution, the treaty of Brest-Litovsk, and ultimately the defeat of the German Empire in World War I...

 and began the process of emancipation in Maryland, Missouri and West Virginia. Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation
Emancipation Proclamation
The Emancipation Proclamation is an executive order issued by United States President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863, during the American Civil War using his war powers. It proclaimed the freedom of 3.1 million of the nation's 4 million slaves, and immediately freed 50,000 of them, with nearly...

 on 1 January 1863, and in the next 24 months it effectively ended slavery throughout the Confederacy. The passage of the Thirteenth Amendment
Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution officially abolished and continues to prohibit slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime. It was passed by the Senate on April 8, 1864, passed by the House on January 31, 1865, and adopted on December 6, 1865. On...

 (ratified in Dec. 1865) officially ended slavery in the United States, and freed the 50,000 or so remaining slaves in the border states.

Commemoration


The abolitionist movements and the abolition of slavery have been commemorated in different ways around the world in modern times. The United Nations General Assembly declared 2004 the International Year to Commemorate the Struggle against Slavery and its Abolition
International Year to Commemorate the Struggle against Slavery and its Abolition
The United Nations General Assembly declared 2004 as the International Year to Commemorate the Struggle against Slavery and its Abolition ....

. This proclamation marked the bicentenary of the birth of the first black state, Haiti. Numerous exhibitions, events and research programmes were connected to the initiative.

2007 witnessed major exhibitions in British museums and galleries to mark the anniversary of the 1807 abolition act – 1807 Commemorated 2008 marks the 201st anniversary of the Abolition of the Slave Trade in the British Empire. It also marks the 175th anniversary of the Abolition of Slavery in the British Empire.

The Faculty of Law at the University of Ottawa held a major international conference entitled, "Routes to Freedom: Reflections on the Bicentenary of the Abolition of the Slave Trade", from 14 to 16 March 2008. Actor and human rights activist Danny Glover
Danny Glover
Danny Lebern Glover is an American actor, film director, and political activist. Glover is perhaps best known for his role as Detective Roger Murtaugh in the Lethal Weapon film franchise.-Early life:...

 delivered the keynote speech announcing the creation of two major scholarships intended for University of Ottawa law students specializing in international law and social justice at the conference's gala dinner.

Brooklyn, New York has begun work on commemorating the abolitionist movement in New York.

Contemporary abolitionism


On December 10, 1948, the General Assembly
United Nations General Assembly
For two articles dealing with membership in the General Assembly, see:* General Assembly members* General Assembly observersThe United Nations General Assembly is one of the five principal organs of the United Nations and the only one in which all member nations have equal representation...

 of the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a declaration adopted by the United Nations General Assembly . The Declaration arose directly from the experience of the Second World War and represents the first global expression of rights to which all human beings are inherently entitled...

. Article 4 states:
No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.


Although outlawed in most countries, slavery is nonetheless practiced secretly in many parts of the world. Enslavement still takes place in the United States, Europe, and Latin America, as well as parts of Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia
South Asia
South Asia, also known as Southern Asia, is the southern region of the Asian continent, which comprises the sub-Himalayan countries and, for some authorities , also includes the adjoining countries to the west and the east...

. There are an estimated 27 million victims of slavery worldwide. In Mauritania alone, estimates are that up to 600,000 men, women and children, or 20% of the population, are enslaved. Many of them are used as bonded labour.

Modern-day abolitionists have emerged over the last several years, as awareness of slavery around the world has grown, with groups such as Anti-Slavery International
Anti-Slavery International
Anti-Slavery International is an international nongovernmental organization, charity and a lobby group, based in the United Kingdom. Founded in 1839, it is the world's oldest international human rights organization, and the only charity in the United Kingdom to work exclusively against slavery and...

, the American Anti-Slavery Group
American Anti-Slavery Group
The American Anti-Slavery Group is a non profit coalition of abolitionist organizations that engages in political activism to abolish slavery in the world today...

, International Justice Mission
International Justice Mission
International Justice Mission is a U.S.-based non-profit human rights organization that operates in countries all over the world to rescue victims of individual human rights abuse. IJM works to combat human trafficking including the commercial sexual exploitation of children, forced labor...

, and Free the Slaves
Free the Slaves
Free the Slaves is an international non-governmental organization and lobby group, established to campaign against the modern practice of slavery around the world. Formed in 2001, it is the largest anti-slavery organization in the U.S. It is the sister-organization of Anti-Slavery International...

 working to rid the world of slavery. Zach Hunter
Zach Hunter
Zach Hunter is an anti-slavery activist. When he was 12 years old, he launched Loose Change to Loosen Chains, a student-led effort to raise awareness and funds to end slavery. Hunter is the author of three books, Be the Change , Generation Change , and Lose Your Cool...

, for example, began a movement called Loose Change to Loosen Chains when he was in seventh grade. Also featured on CNN
CNN
Cable News Network is a U.S. cable news channel founded in 1980 by Ted Turner. Upon its launch, CNN was the first channel to provide 24-hour television news coverage, and the first all-news television channel in the United States...

 and other national news organizations, Hunter has gone on to help inspire other teens and young adults to take action against injustice with his books, Be the Change and Generation Change.

In the United States, The Action Group to End Human Trafficking and Modern-Day Slavery is a coalition of NGOs, foundations and corporations working to develop a policy agenda for abolishing slavery and human trafficking. Since 1997, the United States Department of Justice
United States Department of Justice
The United States Department of Justice , is the United States federal executive department responsible for the enforcement of the law and administration of justice, equivalent to the justice or interior ministries of other countries.The Department is led by the Attorney General, who is nominated...

 has, through work with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers
Coalition of Immokalee Workers
The Coalition of Immokalee Workers is a non-profit organization in Immokalee, Florida whose members are "largely Latino, Haitian, and Mayan Indian immigrants working in low-wage jobs throughout the state."Founded in 1993, the group has seen major success on several fronts...

, prosecuted six individuals in Florida on charges of slavery in the agricultural industry. These prosecutions have led to freedom for over 1000 enslaved workers in the tomato and orange fields of South Florida. This is only one example of the contemporary fight against slavery worldwide. Slavery exists most widely in agricultural labor, apparel and sex industries, and service jobs in some regions.

In 2000, the United States passed the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act (TVPA) "to combat trafficking in persons, especially into the sex trade, slavery, and involuntary servitude." The TVPA also "created new law enforcement tools to strengthen the prosecution and punishment of traffickers, making human trafficking a Federal crime with severe penalties."

The United States Department of State
United States Department of State
The United States Department of State , is the United States federal executive department responsible for international relations of the United States, equivalent to the foreign ministries of other countries...

 publishes the annual Trafficking in Persons Report, identifying countries as either Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 2 Watch List or Tier 3, depending upon three factors: "(1) The extent to which the country is a country of origin, transit, or destination for severe forms of trafficking; (2) The extent to which the government of the country does not comply with the TVPA's minimum standards including, in particular, the extent of the government's trafficking-related corruption; and (3) The resources and capabilities of the government to address and eliminate severe forms of trafficking in persons."

See also

  • Abolition of slavery timeline
    Abolition of slavery timeline
    Abolition of slavery occurred as abolition in specific countries, abolition of the trade in slaves and abolition throughout empires. Each of these steps was usually the result of a separate law or action.-Ancient times:...

  • Abolitionism and Queen Charlotte's paintings
  • American Anti-Slavery Society
    American Anti-Slavery Society
    The American Anti-Slavery Society was an abolitionist society founded by William Lloyd Garrison and Arthur Tappan. Frederick Douglass was a key leader of this society and often spoke at its meetings. William Wells Brown was another freed slave who often spoke at meetings. By 1838, the society had...

  • American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society
    American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society
    The American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society split off from the American Anti-Slavery Society in 1840 over a number of issues, including the increasing influence of anarchism , hostility to established religion, and feminism in the latter...

    , a spin-off of the American Anti-Slavery Society
  • Anti-Slavery Society
    Anti-Slavery Society
    The Anti-Slavery Society or A.S.S. was the everyday name of two different British organizations.The first was founded in 1823 and was committed to the abolition of slavery in the British Empire. Its official name was the Society for the Mitigation and Gradual Abolition of Slavery Throughout the...

  • Come-outer
    Come-outer
    Come-outer is a phrase coined in the 1830s which denotes a person who withdraws from an established organization, or one who advocates political reform.-History:...

  • Compensated emancipation
    Compensated Emancipation
    Compensated emancipation was a method of ending slavery in countries where slavery was legal. This involved the person who was recognized as the owner of a slave being compensated monetarily or by a period of labor for releasing the slave...

  • List of opponents of slavery
  • James Redpath
    James Redpath
    James Redpath was an American journalist and antislavery activist.-Life:...

  • Slavery in the British and French Caribbean
    Slavery in the British and French Caribbean
    Slavery in the British and French Caribbean refers to slavery in the parts of the Caribbean dominated by France or the British Empire.-Conditions:The Lesser Antilles islands of Barbados, St...

  • Slavery in the British Virgin Islands
    Slavery in the British Virgin Islands
    In common with most Caribbean countries, slavery in the British Virgin Islands forms a major part of the history of the Territory. One commentator has gone so far as to say: "One of the most important aspects of the History of the British Virgin Islands is slavery."In 1563, before there had been...

  • The Slave Power

Great Britain and World


  • Brown, Christopher Leslie. Moral Capital: Foundations of British Abolitionism (2006)
  • Davis, David Brion, The Problem of Slavery in the Age of Revolution, 1770–1823 (1999); The Problem of Slavery in Western Culture
    The Problem of Slavery in Western Culture
    The Problem of Slavery in Western Culture written by David Brion Davis and published by Cornell University Press in 1966 won the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction in 1967. It was republished in 1988 by Oxford University Press-References:...

    (1988)
  • Drescher, Seymour. Abolition: A History of Slavery and Antislavery (2009)
  • Finkelman, Paul, ed. Encyclopedia of Slavery (1999)
  • Gordon, M. Slavery in the Arab World (1989)
  • Gould, Philip. Barbaric Traffic: Commerce and Antislavery in the Eighteenth-Century Atlantic World (2003)
  • Hellie, Richard. Slavery in Russia: 1450–1725 (1982)
  • Hinks, Peter, and John McKivigan, eds. Encyclopedia of Antislavery and Abolition (2 vol. 2006) ISBN 0-313-33142-1; 846pp; 300 articles by experts
  • Hochschild, Adam. Bury the Chains, Prophets and Rebels in the Fight to Free an Empire's Slaves (2005)
  • Kolchin, Peter. Unfree Labor; American Slavery and Russian Serfdom (1987)
  • Morgan, Kenneth. Slavery and the British Empire: From Africa to America (2008)
  • Rodriguez, Junius P., ed. "Encyclopedia of Emancipation and Abolition in the Transatlantic World" (2007)
  • Rodriguez, Junius P., ed. The Historical Encyclopedia of World Slavery (1997)
  • Thomas, Hugh. The Slave Trade: The Story of the Atlantic Slave Trade: 1440–1870 (2006)


United States and Canada


  • Abzug, Robert H. Cosmos Crumbling: American Reform and the Religious Imagination. Oxford, 1994. ISBN 0-19-503752-9.
  • Bacon, Jacqueline. The Humblest May Stand Forth: Rhetoric, Empowerment, and Abolition. Univ of South Carolina Press, 2002. ISBN 1-57003-434-6.
  • Barnes, Gilbert H. The Anti-Slavery Impulse 1830–1844. Reprint, 1964. ISBN 0-7812-5307-1.
  • Berlin, Ira and Leslie Harris. Slavery in New York. New Press, 2005. ISBN 1-56584-997-3.
  • Blue, Frederick J. No Taint of Compromise: Crusaders in Antislavery Politics. Louisiana State Univ Press, 2004. ISBN 0-8071-2976-3.
  • Bordewich, Fergus M. Bound for Canaan: The Underground Railroad and the War for the Soul of America. HarperCollins, 2005. ISBN 0-06-052430-8.
  • Davis, David Brion, Inhuman Bondage: The Rise and Fall of Slavery in the New World Oxford, 2006. ISBN 0-19-514073-7.
  • Filler, Louis. The Crusade Against Slavery 1830–1860. 1960. ISBN 0-917256-29-8. ISBN 978-0-374-53125-6. Winner, 2007 Governor General's Literary Award for Nonfiction; Nominee (Nonfiction), National Book Critics Circle Award
    National Book Critics Circle Award
    The National Book Critics Circle Award is an annual award given by the National Book Critics Circle to promote the finest books and reviews published in English....

     2007. See, Governor General's Award for English language non-fiction
    Governor General's Award for English language non-fiction
    This is a list of recipients of the Governor General's Award for English-language non-fiction.-1930s:*1936: T. B. Robertson, collected newspaper articles*1937: Stephen Leacock, My Discovery of the West*1938: John Murray Gibbon, Canadian Mosaic...

    .
  • David Nathaniel Gellman. Emancipating New York: The Politics of Slavery And Freedom, 1777–1827 Louisiana State Univ Press, 2006. ISBN 0-8071-3174-1.
  • Griffin, Clifford S. Their Brothers' Keepers: Moral Stewardship in the United States 1800–1865. Rutgers Univ Press, 1967. ISBN 0-313-24059-0.
  • Harrold, Stanley. The Abolitionists and the South, 1831–1861. Univ Press of Kentucky, 1995. ISBN 0-8131-0968-X.
  • Harrold, Stanley. The American Abolitionists. Longman, 2000. ISBN 0-582-35738-1.
  • Harrold, Stanley. The Rise of Aggressive Abolitionism: Addresses to the Slaves. Univ Press of Kentucky, 2004. ISBN 0-8131-2290-2.
  • Hassard, John. The Life of John Hughes: First Archbishop of New York. Arno Press, 1969
  • Horton, James Oliver. "Alexander Hamilton: Slavery and Race in a Revolutionary Generation" New-York Journal of American History 2004 65(3): 16–24. ISSN 1551–5486
  • Huston, James L. "The Experiential Basis of the Northern Antislavery Impulse." Journal of Southern History 56:4 (November 1990): 609–640.
  • Mayer, Henry All on Fire: William Lloyd Garrison and the Abolition of Slavery St. Martin's Press, 1998. ISBN 0-312-18740-8.
  • McKivigan, John R. The War Against Proslavery Religion: Abolitionism and the Northern Churches, 1830–1865 Cornell Univ Press, 1984. ISBN 0-8014-1589-6.
  • McPherson, James M. The Abolitionist Legacy: From Reconstruction to the NAACP Princeton Univ Press, 1975. ISBN 0-691-04637-9.
  • Osofsky, Gilbert. "Abolitionists, Irish Immigrants, and the Dilemmas of Romantic Nationalism" American Historical Review 1975 80(4): 889–912. ISSN 0002-8762 in JSTOR
  • Perry, Lewis and Michael Fellman, eds. Antislavery Reconsidered: New Perspectives on the Abolitionists. Louisiana State Univ Press, 1979. ISBN 0-8071-0889-8.
  • Peterson, Merrill D. John Brown: The Legend Revisited. Univ Press of Virginia, 2002. ISBN 0-8139-2132-5.
  • Pierson, Michael D. Free Hearts and Free Homes: Gender and American Antislavery Politics. Univ of North Carolina Press, 2003. ISBN 0-8078-2782-7.
  • Schafer, Judith Kelleher. Becoming Free, Remaining Free: Manumission and Enslavement in New Orleans, 1846–1862. Louisiana State Univ Press, 2003. ISBN 0-8071-2862-7.
  • Salerno, Beth A. Sister Societies: Women's Antislavery Organizations in Antebellum America. Northern Illinois Univ Press, 2005. ISBN 0-87580-338-5.
  • Speicher, Anna M. The Religious World of Antislavery Women: Spirituality in the Lives of Five Abolitionist Lecturers. Syracuse Univ Press, 2000. ISBN 0-8156-2850-1.
  • Stauffer, John. The Black Hearts of Men: Radical Abolitionists and the Transformation of Race. Harvard Univ Press, 2002. ISBN 0-674-00645-3.
  • Vorenberg, Michael. Final Freedom: The Civil War, the Abolition of Slavery, and the Thirteenth Amendment. Cambridge Univ Press, 2001. ISBN 0-521-65267-7.
  • Zilversmit, Arthur. The First Emancipation: The Abolition of Slavery in the North. University of Chicago Press, 1967. ISBN 0-226-98332-3.


External links