Underground Railroad

Underground Railroad - The Underground Railroad was a major...

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Underground Railroad The Underground Railroad was not really a railroad at all. The Underground Railroad was a network of anti-slavery people, both black and white, who arranged transport and safe-houses for slaves on the run. This network allowed slaves to escape the United States and reach freedom either in states that protected fugitive slaves, or in countries where slavery was not common, such as Canada. The Underground Railroad consisted of secret safe houses and other facilities owned by anti- slavery sympathizers, and operated much like any other large-scale widespread resistance movement with independent cells that only knew of a few of their neighbours. Escaped slaves would pass from one way station to another, slowly making their way to the north. The main operators of the Railroad were free blacks and Quakers, who had a strong religious objection to slavery.
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Unformatted text preview: The Underground Railroad was a major cause of friction between the North and South in the United States of America. Many northerners sympathized with those who helped bring slaves to safety. For many years Southerners pushed for strong laws that would force the reacpture of escaped slaves, and in 1850 Congress passed a law mandating the capture of fugitive slaves. This prevented slaves from settling in free states and forced them to escape to Canada. A major destination of the fugitive slaves was southern Ontario around the Niagara peninsula and Windsor, Ontario. About 30 000 individuals successfully escaped to Canada. This was an important population increase to the still underpopulated Canadian colonies and these settlers formed the basis of the Black population throughout Ontario. Routes of the Underground Railroad...
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This note was uploaded on 08/05/2008 for the course HIST 455 taught by Professor Wormer during the Spring '08 term at Princeton.

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