The Abolitionist Movement Rise and Intrigues


TheAbolitionist Movement: Rise and IntriguesTheAbolitionist Movement: Rise and Intrigues


Theabolitionist movement was an attempt used by the slaves to end theera of slavery in the USA. The research aims to evaluate and analyzethe reason behind the formation of Abolitionist movement, themechanisms that the Africa-American used to realize their goals andthe end results of the movement. The movement started in the 17thcentury and spread to all states in the southern part of the US. Theresearch will, therefore, analyze the life of the slaves after theformation of the movement and how the movement changed their livesfrom slavery. The movement addressed the aspects of the slavery thatwere not addressed in the country’s constitution during the era ofslavery. The abolitionist movement was an insight to empower theslaves by freeing them from their slave master. Therefore, the paperdiscuss abolitionist movement as a key success factor for endingslavery in the US and ensure that equality existed in the country andthat all the individuals in the country enjoyed equally theopportunity that the country possessed. It is very clear from theresearch that the more the slave masters tried to suppress theirslaves, the bigger and bolder they decided to fight for their rightsand fight against the slavery and advocate of equality among allmember in the country. It is also presented in the research that theactivists used the media and all methods of communication to paintslavery as a social evil and this is what gave the strong movementsupport throughout all the states of the US. The movement aimed toconvince all people in the country that the black people were alsohuman the same way as the whites.

Themajor objective of the abolitionist was to end slavery and racism inthe US and help the black people to realize their rights as citizensof US whether immigrants or Natives. The issue of abolitionist wassuspected that it would not work with many blacks since in themeetings to encourage the workability of the movement some blackswere separated from the white people and this brought in somesuspicion about whether the movement was to be successful in thelong-run. The fight against slavery was too difficult for theabolitionist since the economy of the southern people depended onslavery. The research paper examines some of the techniques that wereuseful in advocating the end of slavery and how the whole processbecame successful irrespective of the challenges that wereencountered. The research will address the methodologies that wereused by activists to ensure that the movement became successful. Thesources of information that the research paper will use are mainlythe secondary publications that address the issues of racism,slavery, immigrants and equality in the US. The research will alsodetermine the effects that the movement caused in the labor market.The freedom of slaves implied that the slaves were to compete forlabor opportunities with the Native whites. This was one of thebiggest threats for the Natives, and it was the source of racialdiscrimination in the country the blacks had to retaliate for this byfighting for complete freedom and encourage equality in all sectors.The conflict of interests among the members of the group, the latentforces they fought without knowing and the upset of status quo theiractivities occasioned calls for a critical inquiry for comprehensionof what we, in common parlance, conceive as the abolitionistmovement.

ChicagoPrimary Source (1)

Douglas,Frederick. TheNarrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass.New York: Dover Publications, 1995.

ChicagoAnnotated Bibliography for Primary Source (1)

This source is an autobiography that was written by FrederickDouglas. Frederick is a freed slave and, therefore, his autobiographyis the first-hand information giving the experience he encountered asa slave. This source is very significant in finding information onthe way the slaves were treated in the past. This publication gave mea vivid picture of the hard endurance that the slaves went through toescape towards the North to free them. The publication shows thelives of many slaves at the time Underground Railroad was takingplace. The book also gave me an insight concerning the rights thatthe slaves had. The author focuses on the right of education forevery slave throughout his publication.

ChicagoPrimary Source (2)

Fitch,Suzanne Pullon. SojournerTruth as Orator:Wit, Story, and Song. (Great American Orators, no. 25). Westport,Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1997.

ChicagoAnnotated Bibliography for Primary Source (2)

The book offers a comprehensive survey concerning the life of theslaves in the Southern America and it incorporates an authoritativeand unique combination of primary sources such as songs, speeches,and public letters. The book gives a clear illustration of the lifeof Sojourner Truth.

ChicagoPrimary Source (3)

Mullane,Deirdre, ed. Crossingthe Danger Water:Three Hundred Years of African-American Writing. New York: Doubleday(Anchor Books), 1993.

ChicagoAnnotated Bibliography for Primary Source (3)

The book is a slave narrative that is a testimony to the life theslaves went through in the US before 1992 Los Angeles riots. Thisbook is a collection of diversity voices. It incorporatesautobiography, fiction, songs, poetry and letters. The book coverseducation, slavery, reconstruction, civil war and political issues.It also covers the songs of the civil rights movement that wereagainst the slavery in the US during the past historical events.

ChicagoPrimary Source (4)

Sterling,Dorothy. We are Your Sisters: BlackWomen in the Nineteenth Century.New York: W. W. Norton &amp Company, 1984 [reissued 1997].

ChicagoAnnotated Bibliography for Primary Source (4)

Thepublication is a collection of oral histories, letters and excerptsselected from autobiographies and diaries. It is a documentary thatillustrates the life of black women between 1800 and the late 1880s.The letters found in the publications are from Rosetta Douglass thedaughter of a well-known author Frederick Douglas and they give theaccounts of the state of women in hands of masters of slave in theyears following the Civil War. The excerpts in the publication arefrom the diary that was written by Rollin, who is the author of abiography concerning the life of Civil War soldier and black activistMartin Delany.

ChicagoPrimary Source (5)

Quarles,Benjamin. Alliesfor Freedom and Blacks on John Brown.DaCapo Press, 2001.

ChicagoAnnotated Bibliography for Primary Source (5)

The publication presents the works written by Benjamin Quarles aboutthe Africa-American history. It traces the life of John Brown as anabolitionist and the way he worked to guide the slaves to freedomthrough Underground Railroad. The book is a reflection of the life ofthe blacks during the time of slavery and their efforts to untiethemselves from slavery.

ChicagoSecondary Source (1)

Goodman,Paul. Of One Blood: Abolitionismand the Origins of Racial Equality.Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998.

ChicagoAnnotated Bibliography for Secondary Source (1)

The author presents abolitionism in the context of its historicaltime. The author highlights the function of the freed slaves infighting for equality and in resisting the force of slave mastersthrough the formation of movements to send the black slaves back toAfrica. The source shows the ways and the techniques which wereemployed by the freed blacks in ensuring that their fellow blacks arealso freed from the hands of the slave masters. The author alsoexplains the countermeasures that the slave masters used to opposethe movements that were formed by the freed blacks to ensure thatthey continue to exploit the black people.

ChicagoSecondary Source (2)

Hamilton,Virginia. Anthony Burns: TheDefeat and Triumph of a Fugitive Slave.Laurel Leaf, 1993. Grade 7 Up.

ChicagoAnnotated Bibliography for Secondary Source (2)

The book explains the abolitionist activity and the efforts of theblack activists in ending slavery in The US. The book accounts howthe movements formed by the black people brought US fever pitchbefore the occurrence of Civil War.

ChicagoSecondary Source (3)

Collison,Gary L. &quotAlexanderBurton and Salem`s `Fugitive Slave Riot` of 1851.&quotEssex Institute Historical Collections 128, no. 1 (1992): 17-26.

ChicagoAnnotated Bibliography for Secondary Source (3)

The article illustrates the efforts of the blacks in freeingthemselves from the hands of their slave masters. It describes themovements that were formed to facilitate the freeing process and howthe movements led to the success among the black people.

ChicagoSecondary Source (4)

Holt,Thomas C. &quotAfrican-AmericanHistory.&quotThe new American history (1997): 311-332.

ChicagoAnnotated Bibliography for Secondary Source (3)

Thearticle presents abolitionism in the context of its historical time.The author highlights the function of the freed slaves in fightingfor equality and in resisting the force of slave masters through theformation of movements to send the black slaves back to Africa.

The Abolitionist Movement Rise and Intrigues


TheAbolitionist Movement: Rise and IntriguesIntroduction

Theabolitionist movement was an effort to bring slavery to an end in theUnited States and the overriding goal of this movement was theimmediate emancipation of all slaves1.The emergence of this movement was necessitated by the introductionand perpetuation of slave trade which began in the 17thcentury in Virginia and spread to other southern states. Moreover,the movement rose to fill the void created by the United Statesconstitution which only had a provision for the return of fugitivesbut aspects relating to slavery were not addressed, at least notexplicitly. Due to the continued plight of the slaves and failure ofthe constitution to address the issue, the anti-slavery sentimentsprovided the necessary anchorage that the abolitionist movement usedto leverage their emancipation ambitions2.However, what attracts research attention is the avenue through whichthis movement rose, the mechanisms they used to achieve their goalsand the consequences of their activities. Moreover, it is interestingthat the group endeavored to pursue ideals of equality for all,ideals that they themselves never believed in.

Riseof the Abolitionist Movement

Historianshave argued that the rise and spread of the abolitionist movement wasto a great extent aided by the proponents of slaver themselves. Thatthe more the slave owners and the sympathizers of slavery tried tosuppress the group, the bigger and bolder it became3.The movement continuously became dynamic even publishing newspapersand pamphlets which castigated slavery painting it as a social andmoral evil. The movement had a deliberate strategy to spread beyondthe northern frontiers and to achieve this, the movement embarked onan awareness campaign ostensibly to convince even more people thatNegroes were as much human. At some point, more radical abolitionistslike David Walker pushed to the movement towards militancy. Themovement therefore employed a mix of strategies to embolden to thepoint it became unstoppable. But just how was it possible for this tohappen in light of the supposedly stringent administration that‘cared for all’?


Thevery essence of the abolitionist movement was the immediateemancipation of all slaves in the United and an end to racism. Thiswas founded on the ‘belief’ that ‘all men were created equal’4.However, their intrinsic belief in all being equal remained suspectsince in some abolitionist meetings, blacks were forced to sit insegregated sections5.Another intrigue that galvanized the activities of this group wasthat they were fighting slavery which was the very foundation onwhich the economy of the south was anchored6.So it was a socio-political fight as much as it was economic. Mostresearchers have not focused much on the two frontiers concurrently.The Quakers, who joined the movement, added a unique dimension to themovement as they were not necessarily blacks but their participationwithin the group was inconsistent, slow and piecemeal7.Further, the freedom of the slaves also implied competition for laboron the part of the Yankees and so they did have an interest in theentire process.


Essentially,the abolitionist movement is an important research subject for theavenues through which it gained popularity and ultimately achievedits objectives. Moreover, the conflict of interests among the membersof the group, the latent forces they fought without knowing and theupset of status quo their activities occasioned calls for a criticalinquiry for comprehension of what we, in common parlance, conceive asthe abolitionist movement.


Aptheker,Herbert. Abolitionism:A revolutionary movement.Twayne Pub, 1989.

Breton,B. R. (2013). Fromfree men to free speech: Anti-abolitionism and its effects on thepropagation of the antislavery message, 1830-1845.Southern Connecticut State University.

Cameron,Christopher. AbolitionistMovement, The: Documents Decoded.ABC-CLIO, 2014.

Ferrell,Claudine L. Theabolitionist movement.Greenwood Publishing Group, 2006.

Historynet.Abolishonist Movement. Accessed on 27thJune 2015 at 2.09pm&lt

1Historynet. Abolishonist Movement. Accessed on 27th June 2015 at 2.09pm&lt

2 Cameron, Christopher. Abolitionist Movement, The: Documents Decoded. ABC-CLIO, 2014.

3Ferrell, Claudine L. The abolitionist movement. Greenwood Publishing Group, 2006.

4Breton, B. R. (2013). From free men to free speech: Anti-abolitionism and its effects on the propagation of the antislavery message, 1830-1845. Southern Connecticut State University.

5 Cameron, Christopher. Abolitionist Movement, The: Documents Decoded. ABC-CLIO, 2014.

6 Aptheker, Herbert. Abolitionism: A revolutionary movement. Twayne Pub, 1989.

7Ferrell, Claudine L. The abolitionist movement. Greenwood Publishing Group, 2006.