Abolitionism

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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.

References in periodicals archive ?
Francis Jackson Meriam, a white abolitionist from Massachusetts, visited Haiti just months before taking part in the raid.
White abolitionists who actually opposed racial prejudice also weakened the links between whiteness and freedom, between blackness and slavery, and as a result surrendered some of their skin privilege by disrupting these equations, since whiteness and its privileges were based on difference from and superiority over a visibly marked servile caste.
The white skin of the tragic mulatta, then, would register sensibility of suffering, "presence of mind," and also facilitate a degree, of identification between white abolitionist and the enslaved.
Unfortunately white abolitionists too often operated with a scenario in which the escaped slave had the duty of narrating his experiences as a black, with the evaluation and interpretation to be extrapolated by white readers.
As the new title suggests, Bennett believes Lincoln was "forced into glory" against his personal and political wishes by "the real emancipators," black and white abolitionists (among others), to whom the book is dedicated.
The book is divided into two sections on black liberators and white abolitionists so that, with a couple of exceptions, essays on Northern free blacks and black abolitionists appear with those on slave rebels.
These details depict a young man well on his way to becoming a professional and licensed preacher of the gospel in the AME Zionist church, at the time that white abolitionists "discovered" him delivering antislavery speeches at black abolitionist gatherings and recruited him to join the Garrisonians as a professional lecturer.
Garrison and the other white abolitionists around Douglass did indeed have much to be anxious about.
The author provides a useful comparison between black and white abolitionists in the court of public opinion in her discussion of Harriet Beecher Stowe.
To the gory descriptions of physical cruelty on the bodies of slaves, Jacobs adds her discourse on the sexual violation of enslaved women, and the intervention of white abolitionists in the production and dissemination of slave narratives.
In his quest for precedents for Brown's raid, Reynolds unearths such long-forgotten white abolitionists as Jabez Hammond of upstate New York, who argued for a military invasion of the slave south as early as the 1840s.
The only initiative approaching it was the initiative of Black and White abolitionists and congressional leaders who freed the slaves and passed the Fourteenth and Fifteenth amendments in the nineteenth century.