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(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 ?
Very well-educated for her time Augusta was a careful observer recounting conversations near verbatim and relaying news of all the political goings-on offering insight into the strategies of famous abolitionist fighters John Brown and Jim Lane.
While much the same could be said of any type of sentimental abolitionist literature, including the literature for adult women that has received significant attention in recent scholarship, the lesser-studied body of work written expressly for young readers offered perhaps an even more useful venue for the abolitionist argument.
The slavery project promotes research and understanding of the African Caribbean community, and the activity of abolitionists, in the development of Sand well.
Early in her study, DeLombard offers an informative review of the various representations of the trial in American literary history, but Slavery on Trial goes far beyond merely identifying the recurrence of the trial as an abolitionist trope.
Salerno identifies religion as the other major obstacle to unity among abolitionist women.
Unfortunately for the Whigs, the abolitionist leader was not swayed and Lyman was forced to admit "Smith in his speeches takes strong ground.
On the abolitionist side, he demonstrates how Thoreau, Garrison, and Douglass insisted upon the absolute priority of the higher law to the Constitution.
Frederick Douglass, the escaped former slave, self-taught author and editor, and leading abolitionist orator, thought not.
Bennett also frames the radical abolitionist struggle within the context of gender, class, and race in his five chapters, ranging from a virtual tour of an anti-slavery bazaar to comparative abolitionist thought in Frances Ellen Watkins, Walt Whitman, Margaret Fuller, Sojourner Truth, Frederick Douglass, Henry David Thoreau, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Harriet Jacobs.
Scholars of African American literature argue that authors of contemporary novels about slavery have certain literary freedoms that authors of actual slave narratives did not, as the former were encouraged to write stories that would be endorsed by abolitionists.
A retelling of a remarkable episode among early abolitionist causes--the story of the brave seed planter John Brown, who challenged people to consider the possibility of seizing their own freedom.
They joined an abolitionist movement and gave speeches about their escape.