The Abolitionist Movement

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The abolitionist movement really gained strength in the 1830s and 1840s. Many of the people who joined the antislavery movement were from the North and were usually deeply religious in their beliefs (Larkin). Women and African-Americans became heavily involved in the movement to end slavery. Their involvement in the abolitionist movement and other social reform movements of the early 1800s gave women and African-Americans a political voice. The abolitionist movement was striking at the very foundation of America. To join this movement required much courage because there was often violence involved at protests from individuals that supported slavery. Even with the threat of violence, women became involved in the antislavery movement from…show more content…
They had more time or money to spare than poorer women. They argued against slavery as both a social and moral evil (Abolitionist). The local groups began to join together in the late 1830s. The women abolitionists began to branch outside their local areas and there would be power in the larger groups. In 1837, female delegates from eight states joined together and held the Anti-Slavery Convention of American Women in New York. From this convention came the resolve to gather one million signatures on a petition to send to Congress on ending slavery (Larkin). The women did not have the power to vote, so petitioning Congress was the only way to have their voices heard. While women held their own antislavery meetings, they were seldom allowed to speak openly at abolitionist groups run by men. In fact, in 1840 at the American Anti-Slavery Society national meeting, the group split over the election of a woman, Abigail Kelley, to serve on the business committee. The more conservative abolitionists did not feel that a woman should have any part in the convention. Kelley’s election caused many to withdraw and form the American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society. They did not allow women to join…show more content…
Female abolitionists Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who was also involved in the temperance movement (Elizabeth), and Lucretia Mott, also a religious reformer (Lucretia), went on to become prominent figures in the women's rights movement. Women began to see that power lay in the ability to unify and voice an opinion. This desire to acquire women’s rights led Mott, Stanton and others to hold the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848. At the convention, the women wrote and signed a Declaration of Rights and Sentiments. Many of the women at the convention first became active in the abolitionist movement. They believed that women, like slaves, should have equal rights (History.com Staff). In addition to women joining the abolitionist movement and gaining a voice in politics, African-Americans also became politically active in the movement. In 1831, African-Americans supported William Lloyd Garrison in publishing his abolitionist newspaper, The Liberator. They also were part of the founding of the American Anti-slavery Society founded in Philadelphia in 1833. This society advocated nonviolence, condemned racial prejudiced and felt that slavery should be ended immediately (History.com
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