Contenu de sensagent
Dictionnaire et traducteur pour mobile
Nouveau : sensagent est maintenant disponible sur votre mobile
dictionnaire et traducteur pour sites web
Une fenêtre (pop-into) d'information (contenu principal de Sensagent) est invoquée un double-clic sur n'importe quel mot de votre page web. LA fenêtre fournit des explications et des traductions contextuelles, c'est-à-dire sans obliger votre visiteur à quitter votre page web !
Avec la boîte de recherches Sensagent, les visiteurs de votre site peuvent également accéder à une information de référence pertinente parmi plus de 5 millions de pages web indexées sur Sensagent.com. Vous pouvez Choisir la taille qui convient le mieux à votre site et adapter la charte graphique.
Solution commerce électronique
Augmenter le contenu de votre site
Ajouter de nouveaux contenus Add à votre site depuis Sensagent par XML.
Parcourir les produits et les annonces
Obtenir des informations en XML pour filtrer le meilleur contenu.
Indexer des images et définir des méta-données
Fixer la signification de chaque méta-donnée (multilingue).
Renseignements suite à un email de description de votre projet.
Jeux de lettres
Lettris est un jeu de lettres gravitationnelles proche de Tetris. Chaque lettre qui apparaît descend ; il faut placer les lettres de telle manière que des mots se forment (gauche, droit, haut et bas) et que de la place soit libérée.
Il s'agit en 3 minutes de trouver le plus grand nombre de mots possibles de trois lettres et plus dans une grille de 16 lettres. Il est aussi possible de jouer avec la grille de 25 cases. Les lettres doivent être adjacentes et les mots les plus longs sont les meilleurs. Participer au concours et enregistrer votre nom dans la liste de meilleurs joueurs ! Jouer
Dictionnaire de la langue française
La plupart des définitions du français sont proposées par SenseGates et comportent un approfondissement avec Littré et plusieurs auteurs techniques spécialisés.
Le dictionnaire des synonymes est surtout dérivé du dictionnaire intégral (TID).
L'encyclopédie française bénéficie de la licence Wikipedia (GNU).
Les jeux de lettres anagramme, mot-croisé, joker, Lettris et Boggle sont proposés par Memodata.
Le service web Alexandria est motorisé par Memodata pour faciliter les recherches sur Ebay. La SensagentBox est offerte par sensAgent.
Changer la langue cible pour obtenir des traductions.
Astuce: parcourir les champs sémantiques du dictionnaire analogique en plusieurs langues pour mieux apprendre avec sensagent.
1.the doctrine that calls for the abolition of slavery
AbolitionismAb`o*li"tion*ism (�), n. The principles or measures of abolitionists. Wilberforce.
chose que l'on enseigne (fr)[ClasseParExt...]
doctrine et système politique (fr)[Classe...]
esclavage (fr)[termes liés]
(nullity; invalidity)[termes liés]
|Part of a series on|
By country or region:
Abolitionism is a movement to end slavery.
In western Europe and the Americas abolitionism was a movement to end the slave trade and set slaves free. At the behest of Dominican priest Bartolomé de las Casas who was shocked at the treatment of natives in the New World, Spain enacted the first European law abolishing colonial slavery in 1542, but weakened these laws by 1545. In the 17th century Quakers and evangelical religious groups condemned slavery as un-Christian; in the 18th century, rationalist thinkers of the Enlightenment 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. The Somersett's case in 1772 that emancipated a slave in England, helped launch the movement to abolish slavery. Pennsylvania passed An Act for the Gradual Abolition of Slavery in 1780. In Massachusetts, ratification of the constitution essentially brought an end to slavery through court cases, although there was no abolition law.
Revolutionary France abolished slavery in 1789, but it was restored by Napoleon in the French colonies more than a decade later after his subversion of the French Revolution. Haiti achieved independence from France and brought an end to slavery during the same period. 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 with the Slavery Abolition Act 1833, the French colonies abolished it 15 years later, while slavery in the United States was abolished in 1865 with the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Abolitionism in the West was preceded by the Laws of the Indies in 1542, in which Emperor Charles V declared free all Native American 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. Spanish settlers replaced the Native American slaves with enslaved laborers brought from Africa and thus did not abolish slavery. In Eastern Europe, abolitionism has played out in movements to end the enslavement of the Roma in Wallachia and Moldavia and to emancipate the serfs in Russia (Emancipation reform of 1861). Today, child and adult slavery and forced labour are illegal in most countries, as well as being against international law.
Some of the first court cases to challenge the legality of slavery took place in Scotland. The cases were Montgomery v Sheddan (1755), 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 1700 when he ruled that a slave became free as soon as he arrived in England.
After the formation of the Committee for the Abolition of the Slave Trade in 1787, William Wilberforce led the cause of abolition through 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 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 to work on the sugar plantations. While in London, Somersett had been baptised and his godparents issued a writ of habeas corpus. As a result Lord Mansfield, Chief Justice of the Court of the King's Bench, had to judge whether the abduction was legal or not under English Common Law, as there was no legislation that had established 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 of the judgement are 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 in England. While no authority could be applied to slaves entering English soil, the decision did not apply to other British territories. The Somersett's case became a significant part of the common law of slavery in the English-speaking world, and it 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: the court ruled that chattel slavery did not exist under the law of Scotland. But, legally mandated, hereditary slavery of Scots persons in Scotland had existed from 1606 until 1799, when colliers and salters were legally emancipated by an act of the Parliament of Great Britain (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. It was not until 1807 that slavery was unambiguously abolished by English law - although this was not applied to the colonies.
Despite the ending of slavery in Great Britain, slavery was a strong institution in the Southern Colonies of British America and the West Indian colonies of the British Empire. In 1785, the English poet William Cowper 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 for Westminster), who presented the Quaker petition to parliament. Also in 1783, Dr Beilby Porteus issued a call to the Church of England 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 slaves. The exploration of the African continent, by such British groups as the African Association (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 played an important part in the movement for abolition. In Britain, Olaudah Equiano, whose autobiography was published in nine editions in his lifetime, campaigned tirelessly against the slave trade.
In May 1787, the Committee for the Abolition of the Slave Trade was formed, referring to the Atlantic slave trade, 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 where the African chieftain hierarchy was tied to slavery, shipped the slaves to British colonies and other Caribbean countries or the American colonies, 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 who had seen the cruelty of the trade at first hand, Granville Sharp, Thomas Clarkson, Josiah Wedgwood who produced the "Am I Not A Man And A Brother?" medallion for the Committee, and other members of the Clapham Sect of evangelical 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 was persuaded to become the leader of the parliamentary 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, Liverpool 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. 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 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 African kingdoms for the establishment of 'Freetown' – a settlement for former slaves of the British Empire and the United States, back in west Africa. This privately negotiated settlement, later part of Sierra Leone 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 published the memoirs of his five-year voyage to the Dutch-controlled Surinam as part of a military force sent out to subdue bosnegers, former slaves living in the inlands. The book is critical of the treatment of slaves and contains many images by William Blake and Francesco Bartolozzi depicting the cruel treatment of runaway slaves. It became part of a large body of abolitionist literature.
The Slave Trade Act was passed by the British Parliament 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 raging at the time. At a time when Napoleon took the retrograde decision to revive slavery which had been abolished during the French Revolution and to send his troops to re-enslave the people of Haiti 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, but the trade continued and captains in danger of being caught by the Royal Navy would often throw slaves into the sea to reduce the fine. In 1827, Britain declared that participation in the slave trade was piracy and punishable by death. Between 1808 and 1860, the Royal Navy's West Africa Squadron 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", deposed in 1851. Anti-slavery treaties were signed with over 50 African rulers.
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 was founded in Britain. Many of the campaigners were those who had previously campaigned against the slave trade. Sam Sharpe contributed to the abolition of slavery with his Christmas rebellion in Jamaica in 1831.
On 28 August 1833, the Slavery Abolition Act was given Royal Assent, which paved the way for the abolition of slavery within the British Empire 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, Trinidad, 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 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.
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.
As in other "New World" colonies, the Atlantic slave trade provided the French colonies with manpower for the sugar cane plantations. The French West Indies included Anguilla (briefly), Antigua and Barbuda (briefly), Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Haïti, Montserrat (briefly), Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sint Eustatius (briefly), St Kitts and Nevis (St Kitts, but not Nevis), Trinidad and Tobago (Tobago only), Saint Croix (briefly), Saint-Barthélemy (until 1784 when became Swedish for nearly a century), the northern half of Saint Martin, and the current French overseas départements of Martinique and Guadeloupe in the Caribbean sea.
The slave trade was regulated by Louis XIV's Code Noir and applied only to the colonies since slavery had been abolished in Metropolitan France since the 14th century; any slave brought to Metropolitan France would be immediately considered free.
After the Revolution, on 4 April 1792, free colored people were granted full citizenship. The revolt of slaves in the largest French colony of St. Domingue in 1791 was the beginning of what became the Haïtian Revolution led by Toussaint L'Ouverture. 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 (1792–1804), on 4 February 1794, under the leadership of Maxmilien Robespierre, abolished slavery in law in France and its colonies. Abbé Grégoire and the Society of the Friends of the Blacks (Société des Amis des Noirs), led by Jacques Pierre Brissot, were part of the abolitionist movement, which had laid important groundwork in building anti-slavery sentiment in the metropole. 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.
Napoleon did not include any declaration of the Rights of Man in the Constitution promulgated in 1799 and, after becoming First Consul, decided to re-establish slavery. He promulgated the law of 20 May 1802 and sent military governors and troops to the colonies to impose it. On 10 May 1802, Colonel Delgrès launched a rebellion in Guadeloupe against Napoleon's representative, General Richepanse. The rebellion was repressed, and slavery was re-established. The news of this event sparked another wave of rebellion in Ste. Domingue, resulting in loss of the lives of tens of thousands of French soldiers, a greater number of civilian lives, and Haïti's gaining independence in 1804. The previous year Napoleon decided to sell the Louisiana Territory to the United States and end its attempt at empire in North America. The French governments refused to recognise Haiti and did so only in the 1830s, after Haiti agreed to pay a substantial amount of reparations (which it could ill afford) for losses during the revolution.
On 27 April 1848, under the Second Republic (1848–52), the decree-law Schœlcher again abolished slavery. The state bought the slaves from the colons (white colonists; Békés in Creole), and then freed them.
At about the same time, France started colonising Africa. Its activities there included transferring the Native populations in several countries to mines, forestry, and rubber plantations under isolated, harsh working conditions often compared to slavery.
Debates about the dimensions of colonialism continue. On 10 May 2001, the Taubira law officially acknowledges slavery and the Atlantic Slave Trade as a crime against humanity. 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.
Although the crime of slavery was formally recognised, four years later, the conservative Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) voted on 23 February 2005 for a French 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, both inside France and abroad. Because of this law, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, the president of Algeria, refused to sign the envisioned "friendly treaty" with France. The writer and politician Aimé Césaire, leader of the Négritude movement, refused to meet UMP leader Nicolas Sarkozy, who cancelled his planned visit to Martinique. President Jacques Chirac (UMP) repealed the controversial law at the beginning of 2006.
In the principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia (both now part of Romania), the enslavement of the Roma (often referred to as Gypsies) was still legal 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 and North America.
Bartolomé de las Casas was a 16th-century Spanish Dominican priest, the first resident Bishop of Chiapas, who as a settler in the New World witnessed, and was driven to oppose, the poor treatment of the Native Americans by the Spanish colonists and advocated before King Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor 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, 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.
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 declared freedom of wombs 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. Slavery was abolished in Uruguay during the Guerra Grande, by both the government of Fructuoso Rivera and the government in exile of Manuel Oribe.
With slaves escaping to New York and New England, legislation for gradual emancipation was passed in Upper Canada (1793) and Lower Canada (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 in the 1830s.
Historian James M. McPherson defines an abolitionist "as one who before the Civil War had agitated for the immediate, unconditional, and total abolition of slavery in the United States." He does not include antislavery activists like Abraham Lincoln or the republican Party which called for the gradual ending of slavery.
The first attempts to end slavery in the British/American colonies came from Thomas Jefferson and some of his contemporaries. Jefferson included strong anti-slavery language in the original draft of the Declaration of Independence and as President, he signed the Act Prohibiting Importation of Slaves on March 2, 1807. In 1820 he supported the Missouri Compromise believing it would help to end slavery. After 1820 Jefferson was unable to end domestic slavery because of powerful pro-slavery forces.
In the 1850s in fifteen states constituting the American South, slavery was established legally. While it was fading away in the cities and border states, it remained strong in plantation areas that grew cotton for export, or sugar, tobacco or hemp. By the 1860 United States Census, the slave population in the United States had grown to four million. American abolitionism was based in the North, and white Southerners alleged it fostered slave rebellion.
The white abolitionist movement in the North was led by social reformers especially William Lloyd Garrison, founder of the American Anti-Slavery Society; writers such as John Greenleaf Whittier and Harriet Beecher Stowe. Black activists included former slaves such as Frederick Douglass; and free blacks such as brothers Charles Henry Langston and John Mercer Langston, who helped found the Ohio Anti-Slavery Society. The writers not only accused the slave owners of a crime and a sin, they claimed they were sexually immoral men who used black women as concubines and targets of rape.
While the Republican Party was falsely accused of abolitionism, its true goal was the gradual extinction of slavery by market forces, for the Republicans were convinced that free labor was superior to slave labor. Southern leaders said the Republican policy of blocking the expansion of slavery into the West made them second class citizens, and that was a challenge to their honor they could not abide. With the 1860 presidential victory of the Republicans, seven Deep South states whose economy was based on cotton decided to secede and form a new nation. Many abolitionists welcomed the removal of this evil from America, but Nationalists in the North refused to accept secession. The American Civil War broke out in April 1861. In 1863, Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which freed slaves held in the Confederate States; most border states began their own emancipation programs. As thousands of slaves flocked to the Army lines as it moved South, slavery was doomed. The Emancipation Proclamation freed most of the slaves. The 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution topok effect in December 1865 and finally ended slavery.
The first American call to abolish slavery came in April 1688 when Quakers in Germantown, Pennsylvania (wrote a two-page condemnation of the practice and sent it to the governing bodies of their Quaker church, the Society of Friends. The Quaker establishment never took action. The 1688 Germantown Quaker Petition Against Slavery, was an unusually early, clear and forceful argument against slavery and initiated the spirit that finally led to the end of slavery in the Society of Friends (1776) and in the state of Pennsylvania (1780).
The Society for the Relief of Free Negroes Unlawfully Held in Bondage was the first American abolition society, formed 14 April 1775, in Philadelphia, primarily by Quakers. The society suspended operations in the Revolutionary war and was reorganized in 1784, with Benjamin Franklin as its first president. Rhode Island Quakers, associated with Moses Brown, were among the first in America to free slaves. Benjamin Rush was another leader, as were many Quakers. John Woolman gave up most of his business in 1756 to devote himself to campaigning against slavery along with other Quakers. Among the first articles advocating the emancipation of slaves and the abolition of slavery was written by Thomas Paine. Titled "African Slavery in America", it appeared on 8 March 1775 in the Postscript to the Pennsylvania Journal and Weekly Advertiser, more popularly known as The Pennsylvania Magazine, or American Museum.
Through the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, the Congress of the Confederation prohibited slavery in the territories northwest of the Ohio River. By 1804, abolitionists succeeded in passing legislation in most states north of the Ohio River and the Mason-Dixon Line that would eventually (in conjunction with the 13th amendment) emancipate the slaves. While Massachusetts did not abolish slavery, its new constitution of 1780 declared the equal rights of men and became the standard against which slavery ceased. But, emancipation in some of the free states was so gradual that both New York and Pennsylvania, for example, still listed slaves in their 1840 census returns, and a small number of black slaves (18) were held in New Jersey in 1860 as "perpetual apprentices".
The principal organized bodies to advocate this reform were the Pennsylvania Antislavery Society and the New York Manumission Society. The latter was headed by powerful politicians: John Jay, Alexander Hamilton, later Federalists, and Aaron Burr, later the Democratic-Republican Vice-President of the United States. That bill did not pass, because of controversy over the rights of freed slaves, although every member of the Legislature but one voted for some version of it. New York did enact a bill in 1799 that ended slavery over time, but made no provision for the rights of freedmen. Free blacks were subject to racial segregation and discrimination in the North.
At the United States Constitutional Convention of 1787, delegates debated over slavery, finally agreeing to protect the international slave trade for 20 years by not regulating it before 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 1 January 1808. No action was taken on the nation's internal domestic slave trade.
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, Maryland and Delaware. By 1810 three-quarters of blacks in Delaware were free. The most notable of individuals was Robert Carter III 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.
During the Congressional debate on 1820 Tallmadge Amendment, which sought to limit slavery in Missouri as it became a state, Rufus King 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, 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 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 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, 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.
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, while others advocated emigration. During the 1820s and 1830s the American Colonization Society (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, Henry Clay and James Monroe, who saw this as preferable to emancipation, 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 of Philadelphia.
After a series of attempts to plant small settlements on the coast of West Africa, the A.C.S. established the colony of Liberia 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 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-Liberians ruled Liberia continuously until the military coup of 1980.
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 Haitian Union was the name of a group formed to promote relations between the countries.
Cincinnati's Black community sponsored founding the Wilberforce Colony, 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.
The Second Great Awakening 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, including Wendell Phillips and Frederick Douglass, 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, 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 and argued that they should be set free. In the last years before the war, "antislavery" could mean the Northern majority, like Abraham Lincoln, 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 ) referred to as their peculiar institution 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. 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.
A radical shift came in the 1830s, led by William Lloyd Garrison, 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, a free African American, joined Garrison in 1833 to form the American Anti-Slavery Society (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, attempted to suppress it, the students moved to Oberlin College. 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 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, and Robert Purvis and James Forten 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, 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.
Evangelical abolitionists founded some colleges, most notably Bates College in Maine and Oberlin College in Ohio. The well-established colleges, such as Harvard, Yale and Princeton, generally opposed abolition, although the movement did attract such figures as Yale president Noah Porter and Harvard president Thomas Hill.
In the North, most opponents of slavery supported other modernizing reform movements such as the temperance movement, public schooling, and prison- and asylum-building. They were split bitterly on the role of women's activism.
Abolitionists like William Lloyd Garrison 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.
The most influential abolitionist tract was Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852), the best-selling novel and play by Harriet Beecher Stowe. Outraged by the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 (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.
Daniel O'Connell, 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 (the removal of the civil and political disabilities of Roman Catholics in Great Britain and Ireland) and he was one of William Lloyd Garrison's models. Garrison recruited him to the cause of American abolitionism. O'Connell, the black abolitionist Charles Lenox Remond, and the temperance priest Theobald Mathew 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 Associations in the United States mostly took a pro-slavery position. Several reasons have been suggested for this: that Irish 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, 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, 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. On the other hand, his former close associate Thomas Francis Meagher served as a Brigadier General in the United States Army during the American Civil War.
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 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 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 role 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.
Although there were several groups that opposed slavery (such as the Society for the Relief of Free Negroes Unlawfully Held in Bondage), at the time of the founding of the Republic, there were few states which prohibited slavery outright. The Constitution had several provisions which accommodated slavery, although none used the word. Passed unanimously by the Congress of the Confederation in 1787, the Northwest Ordinance forbade slavery in the Northwest Territory, 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, a prominent Bostonian and one of the judges at the Salem Witch Trials, 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, 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 began gradual abolition of slavery between 1781 and 1804, based on the Pennsylvania model. Rhode Island had limited slave trading in 1774 (Virginia 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, a dozen "permanent apprentices" were recorded in the 1860 census.
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.
Abolitionists included those who joined the American Anti-Slavery Society 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; 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 advocates 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, for example. Indeed many northern leaders including Lincoln, Stephen Douglas (the Democratic nominee in 1860), John C. Fremont (the Republican nominee in 1856), and Ulysses S. Grant 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 was the only abolitionist known to have actually planned a violent insurrection, though David Walker 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.
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, who was its most effective propagandist. Garrison's efforts to recruit eloquent spokesmen led to the discovery of ex-slave Frederick Douglass, who eventually became a prominent activist in his own right. Eventually, Douglass would publish his own, widely distributed abolitionist newspaper, the North Star.
In the early 1850s, the American abolitionist movement split into two camps over the issue of the United States Constitution. This issue arose in the late 1840s after the publication of The Unconstitutionality of Slavery by Lysander Spooner. The Garrisonians, led by Garrison and Wendell Phillips, publicly burned copies of the Constitution, called it a pact with slavery, and demanded its abolition and replacement. Another camp, led by Lysander Spooner, Gerrit Smith, and eventually Douglass, considered the Constitution to be an antislavery document. Using an argument based upon Natural Law and a form of social contract 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 lines. The artisan republicanism of Robert Dale Owen and Frances Wright stood in stark contrast to the politics of prominent elite abolitionists such as industrialist Arthur Tappan and his evangelist brother Lewis. While the former pair opposed slavery on a basis of solidarity of "wage slaves" with "chattel slaves", the Whiggish 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. This was made illegal by the federal Fugitive Slave Law of 1850. Nevertheless, participants like Harriet Tubman, Henry Highland Garnet, Alexander Crummell, Amos Noë Freeman and others continued with their work. Abolitionists were particularly active in Ohio, 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 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 and John Brown's raid on Harpers Ferry. In the South, members of the abolitionist movement or other people opposing slavery were often targets of lynch mob violence before the American Civil War.
Numerous known abolitionists lived, worked, and worshipped in Downtown Brooklyn, from Henry Ward Beecher, 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, 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.
Historian Frederick Blue called John Brown "the most controversial of all 19th-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 and Henry David Thoreau 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 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, Franklin B. Sanborn, Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Theodore Parker, Samuel Gridley Howe and Gerrit Smith were all abolitionist members of the Secret Six 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."
From the beginning of the American 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 and began the process of emancipation in Maryland, Missouri and West Virginia. Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on 1 January 1863, and in the next 24 months it effectively ended slavery throughout the Confederacy. The passage of the Thirteenth Amendment (ratified in December 1865) officially ended slavery in the United States, and freed the 50,000 or so remaining slaves in the border states.
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. 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 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.
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. 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, the American Anti-Slavery Group, International Justice Mission, and Free the Slaves working to rid the world of slavery. Zach Hunter, for example, began a movement called Loose Change to Loosen Chains when he was in seventh grade. Also featured on CNN 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 has, through work with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, 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 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."
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Abolitionism|
|Wikisource has the text of the 1921 Collier's Encyclopedia article Abolitionists.|