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HISTORY - choose 1 of the questions to answer - Essay Example

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This is because it was the movement geared to abolish slavery both in the Northern and Southern States. In the nineteenth century and early twentieth century, slavery was the…
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Question Why of All the Reform Movements did Abolitionism Prove to be the most Divisive Abolitionism has proven to be the most divisive reform movements as compared to other reform movements. This is because it was the movement geared to abolish slavery both in the Northern and Southern States. In the nineteenth century and early twentieth century, slavery was the key cause of righteous anger to reform minded Americans (Ferrell 41). Slavery deprived some people, particularly the blacks, their human rights, and even separated their families. Therefore, in order to oppose non-humanitarian actions and slavery, abolitionism was the way forward. The need to abandon slavery began in the Northern States with the support of the Democrats, who demonstrated against the denial of rights to slaves (Ferrell 43). The United States Supreme Court even developed its own definition of “whiteness” where it asserted that whites were superior to other racist groups such as Native Americans, African Americans, West Indian, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, amongst other racist groups (Ferrell 44). Many whites, including other Native Americans believed that slaves had no right to set themselves free, and live a fair life.
Abolitionism movement groups were usually a minority within American society. This made the groups encounter heavy opposition from the majority groups, who either wanted to avoid making slavery as divisive political issue or supported slavery (Ferrell 7). Antislavery activists endured violent mob attacks on their printing presses and lecture halls, and for over two decades, a “gag rule”, in the Congress, banned antislavery activists from raising issues relating to this subject (Ferrell 7). However, this opposition only incited antislavery activists, and it made martyrs out of beaten Senator Charles Summer, insane John Brown, and murdered Editor Elijah Lovejoy (Ferrell 11). Antislavery activists were not only interested in ending slavery, but also ensuring that the Americans re-constitute the terms they apply to the concept of equality and liberty. They were looking forward to creating a society that embraced the significance of Revolution for all its people, male and female, black and white.
Antislavery activists were hardly perfect, and their abolitionism reform movements were characterized with differing opinions and attitude on racial responsibilities, characteristics and roles abounded within mixed races, classes and genders of abolitionism movement (Ferrell 23). Additionally, abolitionists lacked enough resources as compared to pro-slavery movements. For instance, in 1830’s, the whites dominated abolitionist movements in terms of raw numbers, money, and leadership positions (Ferrell 34). A section of white activists demanded that black runaway slaves should censor their opinions about the northern racism, and only comment about the southern slavery. Additionally, white female abolitionists, regularly delivered speeches, which they attributed to the black female abolitionists. These methods were particularly being used to explain the cause of antislavery movements. Some black abolitionists, like David Walker, took a strong stance and demanded the immediate end of slavery. However, some white abolitionists harshly opposed their ideas arguing that the process should be gradual due to the fear that such radicalism would hurt the whole movement, and even scare away potential supporters (Ferrell 39).
In conclusion, antislavery groups proved to be successful pressure groups, both in the north and south. They created the awareness that slavery was an urgent political issue, which the Americans needed to address effectively to redeem their potential and true calling of their nation. Although, abolitionist political parties did not win a majority of the vote, they gunned considerable votes that the major political particles noticed.
Works Cited
Ferrell G. L. The Abolitionist Movement. New York: Greenwood Publishing Group, 2006. Print Read More
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