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April 13, 2009
In the 1830’s America was in need of social change. Education needed to be improved, alcohol consumption was causing problems within households, and various other issues needed to be solved. African Americans and women were still inferior to white males. During this period in history, people started to realize that drastic changes needed to be made. People began to speak out in large numbers and started what became one of the most influential reform movements, the Abolition Movement.
When slavery started, so did the Abolition movement. There were always those who opposed slavery, but no voices were heard. There needed to be organization and growth in numbers. It is said that the Second Great Awakening in the 1830s had an impact on the support of anti-slavery. The Second Great Awakening was a religious revival that helped abolitionist to see slavery as a personal sin. The way to repent was to demand emancipation.
In the 1830s, abolitionists began to convert large audiences and form anti-slavery societies. These societies sent petitions to Congress with thousands of signatures, held meetings, boycotted products prepared by slaves, printed books, and also gave many speeches. The American Anti-Slavery Society was founded in 1833 and had ten thousand plus members. They condemned slavery based on morals. Those, who were in favor of slavery, argued the separation of church and state and used violence as a way of suppressing anti-slavery efforts. Some abolitionists used violence as well.
Abolitionists consisted of both blacks and whites. The blacks consisted of former slaves who escaped and free blacks. The whites consisted of poor religious people who didn’t have much to give but did what they could, and wealthy whites who contributed a lot of funding to the cause. Women were also a large group who took an initiative. In the beginning, they faced harsh criticism because public...