Abolition Of Slavery Dbq Essay

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In the early 17th century, colonists in North America turned to slaves as an inexpensive and abundant work force. Because slaves aided in the production of lucrative crops such as cotton, slaves became important to the economic foundation of America. Yet by the 1790s, slavery was in decline due to land exhaustion and the coming of the Second Great Awakening. From 1775 to 1830, many African Americans were emancipated, yet during this same time period the institution of slavery expanded hugely. This seemingly paradoxical trend occurred predominantly as a result of differences in two geographic regions. In the South, dependence on slave labor was increasing. Meanwhile, an abolition movement was growing in the North, decreasing slavery in New England. …show more content…

Lord Dunmore’s Proclamation in 1775 declared that all slaves who fought for the British cause would be freed (Doc A). In response to this, some Northern states granted freedom to slaves who fought for the patriots, while most Southern states did not, showing that war brought out Americans’ true views on slavery and allowed slavery to simultaneously expand and shrink. Free Northerners called for abolition of slavery after the American Revolution because of a new focus on freedom and equality for all. From the view of African Americans, Paul Cuffe’s Petition demonstrated that slaves had similar demands as patriots: no taxation without representation (Doc B). The challenge blacks faced at this time was gaining freedom and equality, and indeed, many blacks joined the British army and also petitioned the Massachusetts government for equal …show more content…

Whites in America felt they were superior to black people because the apologist view of slavery justified slavery through Christianity. Blacks overcame the challenge of inequality by using religion to give them hope for freedom. “Ben”, a conspirator in Prosser’s Rebellion, a slave uprising, explains that through worship of God the black population would be freed (Doc E). Abolitionists such as David Walker used religious ideals from the Second Great Awakening to call blacks to action. In his Appeal to the Colored Citizens of the World, he attempts to incite rebellion by proclaiming that God would deliver blacks from slavery and would help them achieve liberty (Doc G). Christian ideals increased and decreased slavery simultaneously because in the North, blacks found spiritual inspiration that motivated them to rebel, meaning that slavery decreased; yet in the South, the cotton-driven economy meant that there was a constant demand for slaves, regardless of religious beliefs and

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