Abolitionism

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Abolitionism

 

(1) A social movement aimed at liquidating a law.

(2) A movement in the United States in the 18th and 19th centuries for the abolition of Negro slavery. Abolitionism in the United States was strikingly manifested by the Negro slave rebellions in the South—for example, the rebellions in 1800, led by Gabriel; and in 1831, led by Nat Turner. The beginning of an organized national abolitionist movement dates from the founding of the American Antislavery Society in 1833. Abolitionism unified broad segments of society, including farmers who were struggling for land against the slaveholding plantation owners, workers, progressive intellectuals, and activists in the Negro emancipation movement, as well as an element of the bourgeoisie who saw slavery as an obstacle to the development of capitalism in the country. The most revolutionary abolitionist groups, headed by F. Douglass, understood the need for armed force in the struggle against slavery. Of special importance in the struggle against slavery was the 1859 insurrection led by J. Brown. The popular masses played a leading role in the liquidation of slavery during the American Civil War. Under pressure from them, the government of A. Lincoln adopted as a military measure a law emancipating but giving no land to those Negro slaves who were owned by planters participating in the secessionist rebellion. However, the Civil War did not bring true freedom to the Negroes. The American bourgeoisie strove “to restore everything possible, and to do everything possible—even the impossible—to further the most shameless and vile oppression of Negroes” (V. I. Lenin, Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 27, p. 142).

(3) The struggle which developed in Great Britain, France, and several other European countries in the 18th and 19th centuries to abolish slavery in colonial areas.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Every newspaper article was searched using a consistent system designed to capture any article that contained, in the body or in the title, the words "capital punishment" or "death penalty" in addition to, when possible, the words "abolition," "abolish," or "abolitionism." Lastly, in the course of our analysis, we drew upon legislative debates to contextualize and better understand the rhetoric found in the press.
These particular abolitionists, he wrote, "manifested a fairness and candor that would put to shame their brethren in the East." Stebbins found "less blinding prejudice, than farther East, and of course more willingness to discuss fairly, and with a wish to arrive at the truth." (70) This, of course, was the Oberlin way, and as one alumnus remarked years later, their "recognition that means, as well as ends, has their place in morals" represented a purifying and equalizing force in their abolitionism. (71) Put simply, their quarrel was with slavery, not other reformers.
from conservative and reactionary flavors of abolitionism.
Both the dynamics and the transitions she describes will be familiar to anyone who is well acquainted with abolitionism. But she succeeds admirably at fleshing out what may be a vague impression of the roles of rank and file women in the antislavery movement.
In The Great Silent Army of Abolitionism: Ordinary Women in the Antislavery Movement, Julie Roy Jeffrey takes this truism and demonstrates the complexity, variation, and evolution of female participation in abolitionism. In a carefully researched study which goes beyond the customary boundaries of New England and white middle-class women, Jeffrey examines how black and white women lived out their commitment to antislavery.
Without ever oversimplifying, Mayer gives these intellectual conflicts such drama that the book propels the reader effortlessly through its nearly seven hundred pages and in the process provides one of the best overall narrative histories of abolitionism. In the end, Mayer makes a strong case that without Garrison's inflammatory but compelling writing, speaking, and organizing, there might have been no effective abolitionist movement at all.
The excellent introduction assesses the formation and evolution of black abolitionism.
More empirically, however, one may question the dominant premise of abolitionist apathy and indifference during the early 1800s and thus offer a fresh approach to the whole question of popular continuity in British abolitionism.
Child also wrote fiction: <IR> HOBOMOK </IR> (1824), in which a Native American marries a white girl; The Rebels (1825), picturing Boston before the Revolution; Philothea (1836), set in ancient Greece; and A Romance of The Republic (1867), which deals with Abolitionism. She probably is most frequently remembered for a poem she wrote on Thanksgiving Day (1857), one stanza of which begins:
Cameron spends far too much time focusing on Calvinism and not nearly enough time talking about the radicalism of the Great Awakening and the ways in which it energized not just a general religious feeling across America but also how the notion of equal souls influenced abolitionism. The book concludes with a chapter discussing activism in the early republic but largely within Baptist churches and civil aid societies.
Without denying the importance of Sim's argument, utopian dreaming is not the central or defining feature of present-day UK abolitionism. Rather, its two central features are: first, it continues to draw on and develop the abolitionist tradition of social thought celebrated by Ruggiero (2010), with Bianchi, Christie, Hulsman, and Mathiesen among its central figures; second, it is committed to what Ruggiero (ibid., 206-9) calls a public sociology that fights alongside socially excluded individuals and groups, rather than merely asking policymakers to be nicer in dealing with them.
By focusing on West Africa as a starting point for antislavery struggles in Cuba, Manuel Barcia's The Great African Slave Revolt of 1825 inserts a new chapter in the historiography of nineteenth-century abolitionism.