Slavery became common in America in the 18th and 19th century. This was after the European nations had acquired control over other continents through the imperialist movement that was common at the time. Slavery was a result of the illegal slave trade that involved the shipping of slaves from their indigenous countries to countries where they were sold at cheap prices as slaves. Most slaves, however, were from the African continent due their strength and resistance to local diseases. However, with time this practice of slavery was slowly rejected by many people. This led to the antislavery campaign.
This is the same as the abolitionist movement. This movement was in favor of the cessation of all forms of slavery across the world. The movement incorporated many activities that were all aimed at stopping slavery. It was spread world over and many nations participated in this movement to stop slave trade and slavery. In America abolitionism was a movement that not only aimed at stopping slave trade, but also to set the slave captives free. This meant that they could now enjoy their rights as normal citizens. This movement was especially rampant after 1830 and throughout the rest of the 19th century.
In the United States of America, slavery had become entrenched in people’s lives. This means that slaves played an important role in the social and economic lives of the American people. The slaves were used to carry out agricultural activities. They were also used as maids and house servants. They were expected to pay heed to their white masters and were treated as mere property. The number of slaves in America had slowly grown over time as the first generation continued to sire more children. By the end of the 19th century, the slave population had increased drastically and was slightly over 4 million.
Slaves who managed to be free citizens under no one’s control were called free blacks. These were the people who played a central role in fighting for the rights of their fellow black people. However, there was a lot of opposition in America to the abolitionism movement. Some politicians and leaders claimed that the movement threatened to destroy the peace and good relations that existed between North and South America. However, the war on slavery received a strong backup from the election of Abraham Lincoln as president of USA in 1860. He was strongly opposed to the issue of slavery.
Eventually, the south retracted from the union since it felt its culture was under threat. It was common for these people to view the blacks lowly, and hence to free them was an insult to their status quo and lifestyle. This had a major role in the occurrence of the civil war in 1863. This coincided with the emancipation proclamation. This was a law that allowed for freeing of all slaves in the consolidated states of America. President Abraham Lincoln continued to fight slavery, and in 1965 the law against slavery was incorporated in America’s constitution. This played a major role in ending the slavery since it prohibited any form of slavery throughout USA.
However, the abolitionist movement was only widespread in the north. The south refused to accept this movement and huge bans were placed on people spreading literature on abolition. The movement led to the formation of various organizations that fought for the rights of blacks and the freeing of slaves. Some organizations proposed that blacks should be moved to areas where they would receive more freedom and be rid of the segregation they received in USA. This led to the settling of blacks in the West Africa region of Liberia.
An American organization known as the American Colonization Society played a central role in this resettlement of slaves to a free Africa. The organization finally managed to set up a colony in 1822. The new settlement experienced many challenges due to the remoteness of the area. Disease outbreaks were a constant head ache and this led to many deaths among the black population. However, the colony finally declared its independence from America in 1847.
Religion also played a major role in the abolitionist movement. This was in the 1820s and 1830s where various religions voiced their opinion of how slavery was a sin. This was based on Biblical principles that decreed that all people were equal before God, and hence it would be unfair to treat some as servants and others as masters. However, the religions that supported the movement were mostly located in the north. In the south, religions were protagonists to the abolitionist movement and backed their stand with Biblical principles that were contrary to those of the abolitionists. An example was the excerpt from the story of Noah’s son, Ham, whom he cursed and sent to Africa. The descendants of Ham were, therefore, believed to be destined to slavery…
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