Abandon the country that had become their home the

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abandon the country that had become their home.The real spark that ignited the abolitionist crusade was the 2nd Great Awakening.Many northerners, disturbed by the materialism and corruption of the changing societyaround them, placed much of the blame on the slave system.They, of course, were notslaveholders, they were not directly guilty of this sin, but the Great Awakening, with itsmessage of free will, of human agency, made it impossible for them to escape the guilt ofNOT doing something about this evil; and it imbued them with an urgency to do somethingto make their society better.Thus, in the early 1830s many of the former members of theColonization Society rejected its message of weak gradualism, and began to enunciate a
demand for immediate, uncompensated, unconditional emancipation.In 1832 they helped form theNew England Anti-Slavery Society, whose membershipincluded both women and African-Americans.This society pledged itself, not only toimmediate emancipation, but also to foreswear all racial prejudice, to "secure to the coloredpopulation...all the rights and privileges that belong to them as men and as Americans...Thepaths of preferment, of wealth, and of intelligence should be opened as widely to them as topersons of white complexion." By 1833 a national movement had emerged: the AmericanAnti-Slavery Society. They sought to cause change in a number of ways.Reformers like William Lloyd Garrison attempted to use moral persuasion and reason toinfluence opinion in both the north and the south, often in very radical and uncompromisingterms.In the first issue of his weekly newspaper, The Liberator, Garrison statedemphatically:"I WILL be as harsh as truth, and as uncompromising as justice.On this subject, Ido not wish to think, or speak, or write with moderation....I am in earnest--I will notequivocate--I will not excuse--I will not retreat a single inch--AND I WILL BE HEARD."In 1835 the abolitionist societies began a great postal campaign to flood every city, everytown, and every village in the country with anti-slavery pamphlets, targeting in particularMinisters, elected officials and newspaper editors -- in other words, people who shapedpublic opinion. By end of 1837 over a million pieces of literature had been distributed.1835 also saw the beginning of another campaign, aimed at inundating Congress with anti-slavery petitions. Local organizers, who were very often women, carried petitions door todoor in search of signatures, and in many northern communities they were successful,particularly among women, who would ultimately provide over half the signatures on these
documents.In part, this success stemmed from the relatively modest content of theseproposals.Many who would have hesitated to sign petitions calling for immediate,uncompensatedemancipation, were nonetheless willing to endorse more limited goals, suchas the abolishment of slavery in the District of Columbia and the barring of further slavestates from entry into the union.In 1837 this campaign intensified, and by May of 1838415,000 petitions had been forwarded to Congress.

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Term
Summer
Professor
william
Tags
History, The American, Uncle Tom s Cabin, early 19th century, Abolitionism

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