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Abolitionist Movement

Below is a sample introduction of a research paper on the Abolitionist Movement. You can order a custom project from Paper Masters.

The abolitionist movement was based upon moral frenzy, not economics.  After 1830 almost all abolitionists were in the North.  Most of them were middle-class people who had no material stake in the conservation or destruction of slavery.  Since slavery was a moral offense, and not an economic injury to these people, they came to look upon economics in slavery as a breach of the laws of God.  Abolitionist MovementJust as the pro-slavery faction wrote its arguments for fellow southerners, northern abolitionists took their campaign to their fellow regional citizens.

Goal of the Abolitionist Movement

Many abolitionists saw a vast conspiracy they called the “Slave Power threat,” a tacit agreement among Southern slaveholders. They believed their goal was to:

  1. First and formost maintain slavery
  2. Furthermore, extend it into the territories and free states
  3. To destroy civil liberties
  4. Control the policies of the Federal Government
  5. Establish a national ruling aristocracy based on a slave economy. 

The Dred Scott decision was seen as the final piece of the Slave Power conspiracy.  The conspiracy, according to abolitionists, had a threefold plan: to reopen the slave trade, to extend slavery through America, and (most dangerously) make free whites virtual slaves to the new aristocracy.

Abolitionist Movement and Publications

In 1831, William Lloyd Garrison began publishing The Liberator, a weekly abolitionist newspaper.  His opening editorial set the moral tone for the entire abolitionist movement of African slavery.  But perhaps the strongest voice to come out of the white abolitionist movement came from an unexpected source: a “little lady from Maine.”  Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote Uncle Tom’s Cabin as a reaction to the lynching of abolitionist editor Elijah Lovejoy in Illinois.  The book was first published on March 20, 1852.  By June it was selling 10,000 copies a week, and printers worked twenty-four hours a day to meet the demand.  By October, some 150,000 copies had been sold in America.  It soon became apparent that Uncle Tom’s Cabin was “the best seller of the 19th century.”


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