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USW34 The Coming Crisis, 2 Reasons for Rise of Antislavery Thought 1.Rise of Religious Liberalism: a.Perfectionism b.Higher criticism c.from sin as slavery.

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Presentation on theme: "USW34 The Coming Crisis, 2 Reasons for Rise of Antislavery Thought 1.Rise of Religious Liberalism: a.Perfectionism b.Higher criticism c.from sin as slavery."— Presentation transcript:


2 USW34 The Coming Crisis, 2

3 Reasons for Rise of Antislavery Thought 1.Rise of Religious Liberalism: a.Perfectionism b.Higher criticism c.from sin as slavery to slavery as sin 2.Rise of Enlightenment Thought a.Natural rights b.Universal Freedom c.Rigid Social Hierarchy 3.Shift in Understanding of Sympathy 4.All of above are responses to Atlantic slave trade and New World slavery

4 1.Abolitionist enters English usage in 1770s: a.Idea, articulated through language, that mobilized people to act. 2.England: Somerset Decision 1772: interpreted as outlawing slavery in England 3.Northern states gradually abolish slavery a.Vermont first constitution in history that outlaws slavery. Responses to Rise of Antislavery Thought:

5 4.Abolition Societies strongest in Upper South (Va. Md.) a.Masters manumit 20,000 slaves by 1800 (27m free blacks in North) 5. Excludes slavery from entering Northwest territories 6.End of international slave trade a.False belief that ending intl trade a promissory note for ending slavery. Responses to Rise of Antislavery Thought (cont):

6 Strategy of Early Abolitionists (1770s-1810s) 1.Very gradual abolition (30-100 years) 2.Colonization/Emigration a.Black and white leaders advocated colonization/emigration 3.American Colonization Society founded 1816. a.Voluntary colonization to Liberia.

7 Strategy of Early Abolitionists (1770s-1810s), cont. 4.Conservative response to slavery a.Early abolition societies run by elites i.Ben Franklin President of Penn. Abol. Society ii.Alexander Hamilton led NY Abol. Society b.Refused to accept blacks as members 5.Black and white leaders: emphasized prudence rather than defiance as strategy for ending slavery. 6.Most white abolitionists “firmly in the camp” of Federalist Party a.Stronghold in New England States b.Strong Central Government c.Clearly defined social hierarchy d.Blacks become free but not equal; remain at or near bottom of social order or shipped to another country.

8 Constitution: Proslavery v. Antislavery ProslaveryAntislavery Art 1 Sec 2: Apportionment clause: (Free + 3/5 unfree used to determine representatives) Preamble: “Secure the blessings of liberty” Art 4 Sec 2: Fugitive Clause: Persons held to service or labor in one state shall be delivered up on claim of the party to whom such service or labor is due. Art 1 Sec 9: Protection Clause: Protect International Slave Trade only until 1808 Art 4 Sec 4: U.S. guarantees to each state a Republican form of government. 5 th Amend: No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law. Majority of Framers pass Northwest Ordinance, prohibiting slaves being brought into NW territories “Slave” “slavery,” “Negro” does not appear.

9 National Crises Over Slavery 1.“Hartford Convention” of Federalists of 1814 a.Indignant over rise to power of Jefferson’s Democratic-Republican Party i.Jefferson the “Negro” president b.Indignant over War of 1812 c.Indignant that Louisiana Purchase opened the way for slavery’s expansion d.Worried that Louisiana Purchase will upset political balance struck by 3/5s Compromise e.Convention attracts only 26 delegates from 3 states f.Do not advocate secession; instead seek to curtail Congress’s ability to wage war, regulate commerce (inc. slaves), and admit new states.

10 National Crises Over Slavery, cont. 2.Missouri Crises and Compromise, 1819-21 a.1819: Missouri petitions to enter Union as slave state b.Northern statesmen try to prohibit slavery in Missouri. i.Explodes perceived agreement between Northern and Southern statesmen: North will not interfere with slavery in Southern states; Southerners recognize slavery as an evil that should be discouraged and eventually abolished. c.Southerners threaten to secede d.Compromise: i.Missouri enters Union as slave state ii.Missouri’s southern border (36-30) determines slavery in Louisiana Purchase territories. e.States enter Union in pairs (1 free, 1 slave) until Texas in 1845

11 Map of U.S. 1821

12 Effects of Missouri Compromise 1.Western territories/land becomes battleground over slavery. a.Perceived safety valve for northern workers. i.Don’t want to compete with slave labor ii.Free soil worth more than slave soil b.Crucial to continued growth of commodity agriculture in South c.Southerners hope to stem tide of emancipation movements i.1823-42: Mexico, Central America, Bolivia, Uruguay, Chile abolish slavery ii.1833-38: British colonies abolish slavery iii.1807-1850: Most of Europe abolishes serfdom & indentured servitude

13 Effects of Missouri Compromise 2.Rise of Higher Law: a.Rufus King, 1821: First politician to invoke “higher law” in reference to slavery: any law upholding slavery was “absolutely void, because it is contrary to the law of nature, which is the law of God.”

14 Effects of Missouri Compromise 3.Rise of Modern, or Immediate Abolitionism a.Advocate immediate end to slavery i.millennialist/prophetic) b.Led by blacks: i.Freedom’s Journal (John Brown Russworm, Samuel Cornish, Peter Williams Jr. ii.David Walker’s Appeal, 1829-31 c.Integrated Societies and Communities i.Garrison’s Liberator, New England Anti-Slavery Society ii.American Anti-Slavery Society, 1833: blacks, women equal members. iii.In theory abolitionists embrace racial equality d.Oppose colonization e.Most Northerners, Southerners despised them as fanatics. i.Threaten Union ii.Threaten white man’s government f.Very small numbers (no more than few hundred thousand)

15 “Liberal” abolitionists of 1770s-1810s become “liberal”antislavery advocates of antebellum era. “Radical” abolitionists a new phenomenon. Antislavery advocates (“liberal” abolitionists of 1770s-1810s “Radical” abolitionists (1820s to Civil War) Large numbers made up of white elitesSmall numbers made up largely of farmers, artisans & emerging middle class Gradual abolition: contain slavery: limit expansion with goal of “ultimate extinction.” Immediate abolition: Will not interfere with slavery in SouthHope to transform South: Flood the South, Congress with abolition texts U.S. White man’s democracyEveryone citizens with equality before law. Racial equality in theory. Endorse colonizationHate colonization Accept existing lawsEmbrace higher law: prophets, millinnialists Constitution is antislavery (Free-Soil Party, Republican Party) Constitution is proslavery (Garrisonians) antislavery (Liberty Party, National Liberty Party, Radical Abolition Party)

16 Effects of Missouri Compromise 4.Southerners stage a “counter-revolution.” a.Refuse to tolerate dissent against slavery b.Refuse to debate slavery: impose Gag Rules in Congress c.South Carolina attempts to nullify federal law, 1828-31. d.Seek New territories to continue growth of commodity agriculture a.(Hiatus of territorial acquisition from Mo. Comp to Texas annexation of 1845) e.New Territories prevent Southern class war. f.Control Democratic Party, National Politics i.Democratic Party: State’s rights, oppose modernization, centralization, federal subsidies ii.Northern Democrats mob abolitionists g.Annexation of Texas leads to Mexican War i.Texas declares independence from Mexico in 1836.

17 Disputed Texas Territory

18 Effects of Mexican War 1.Size of U.S. increases by 1/3. 2.New territories become battleground over slavery 3.Southerners want all new territories as slave territories a.Representation in Congress. b.New forms of slave labor. c.Reverse tide of New World emancipation 4.Emergence of Free-Soil Party in 1848 a.Influenced by abolitionists 5.Gold discovered in California a.Southerners want it for slavery 6.Southerners threaten to secede 7.Northerners worried about “slave power conspiracy.”

19 Effects of Mexican War, cont. 8.Compromise of 1850: a.California enters as free state b.New Mexico, Utah territories: no restrictions on slavery c.End slave trade in District of Columbia d.Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 a.Denies habeas corpus b.Federal commissioners oversee cases c.Paid double for sending person back into slavery d.Requires all Northerners to participate in roundup of suspected fugitives e.Radicalizes antislavery northerners: many endorse higher law or become outright abolitionists f.Inspires Uncle Tom’s Cabin g.Suicidal to South.

20 Kansas-Nebraska Act, 1854 1.Repeals Missouri Compromise 2.Opens Northern territories to slavery 3.Kansas becomes battleground.


22 How did small number of abolitionists influence national politics and society? 1.Foundation of antislavery political parties a.Liberty Party evolves into Free-Soil Party (antislavery), and National Liberty Party (abolitionist) b.Free-Soil Party evolves into Republican Party (1854-55) i.National Liberty Party evolves into Radical Abolition Party (1855) 2.Helps split two-party system (Whigs dissolve) 3.Understand the power of words as weapons a.Small numbers, huge voice b.Slave narratives become popular, critically acclaimed genre. 4.Convince antislavery Northerners that slavery is moral and economic evil. 5.Foundations of racial equality in U.S. a.Examples of Boston, upstate New York. 6.As we’ll see, abolitionists become crucial catalysts in the election of Lincoln and secession.

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