- Abolitionism was a movement to end the slave trade and to emancipate (free) slaves in both Western Europe and the Americas. It usually took part in Northern states (but not everyone was anti-slavery), than in Southern states.
- The Enlightenment and the Great Awakening are what stirred things up and made some begin to question the morality of slavery.
The Enlightenment (violating the rights of man)
- European and American intellectual revival, which mainly spoke about rationality
The Great Awakening (slavery is un-Christian)
- Brought colonists back to religion—it was a religious revival
- The main message of the Awakening was that: “all men were equal in the eyes of God”
In the eleven states that made up the American South, slavery was a powerful economic institution, and was key for the survival of the agricultural economy.
On the other hand, in the North (1820’s-30’s) the movement grew strong because of three key reasons:
- Slave revolts were becoming more frequent in the United States and around the world. Abolition would prevent racial violence (i.e. Haiti)
- The Second Great Awakening—another religious revival, which tried to remove the evils of society
- The North believed that slavery threatened the harmony of the North and South in the Union
The South believed slavery was a necessary means because of three key reasons:
- It was what the Southern and U.S economy revolved around and was therefore necessary for survival
- Slavery was a process of civilization
- Northern working class are treated even worse than slaves are