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In the early 1700’s America started to use slaves, this continued for over two and a half centuries. The slaves which were used at the time for tobacco plants and then later cotton were mostly from Africa. The growing demand for cotton led for many slave owners in the south to start growing cotton this led to slaves and cotton being the base of the souths economy.
The abolitionist movement during the late 1800’s began dividing the United States over the issue of slavery. Slavery was banned in all of the new western states in the Missouri compromise in 1820. The south thought this was a threat to slavery itself. One Supreme Court case back in 1857 said that black people were not citizens there for escaped slaves in the north were still property of their owners and they must be returned to them this case was often known as the Dred Scott decision. Many northerners blew a new life into the struggling abolition program because of this court case.
In 1860 a member of the anti-slavery Republican Party became president he was known as Abraham Lincoln. His election convinced many people in the south that slavery wouldn’t be allowed to spread to new territories acquired by the United States and it might eventually be abolished. The civil war was precipitated by eleven southern states trying to secede from the union.
The famous emancipation proclamation was issued by Abraham Lincoln during the war this freed all slaves in all areas of the country that at the time were in rebellion. This assisted with European interference on the south side and it also freed the military and naval officers from returning runaway slaves to their owners but only after they won the war. The following passage of the thirteenth amendment to the constitution were the American slaves let go.
The last mention of this issue in parliament had been decades before but in 1791 there was a vote on abolition and 163 members of voted against it. On moral grounds very few MPs dared defend the trade even in the early debates. They discussed on many financial and political motives to continue it. A large vested interest was made up of people who profited off of the trade the entire plantation system was also at stake if the trade was ended. One MP said “the property of the West Indians is at stake and though men may be generous with their own property, they should not be so with the property of others.”(Historynet.com) France could get an economic and naval advantage because of the abolition of the British trade.
Englishmen like John Locke Daniel Defoe John Wesley and Samuel Johnson had already debated against slavery and the trade before the parliamentary discussions. Dr. Johnson once presented the toast in a celebration at Oxford “Here’s to the next insurrection of the Negroes in the West Indies.”(Historynet.com) The first organized group to fight against slavery came amidst scattered protests. Both sides faced expulsion if they still owned slaves in 1776. The British Quakers established the antislavery committee in 1783 which played a big role in abolition.
The team began by distributing brochures to Parliament and the public about slavery. A vital aspect of the abolitionist’s plan became investigation and Thomas Clarkson’s investigations on slave ships and in the trade’s main cities gave ammunition for abolition’s foremost parliamentary supporter William Wilberforce.
Others called Wilberforce and his friends the Saints which was sometimes out of respect and sometimes mockingly this was because of their evangelical faith and championing of humanitarian causes. The Saints worked to humanize the penal code advance popular education improve conditions for laborers and reform the morals of England. The first object of Wilberforce’s life was abolition he pursued in and out of season.
It was clearly out of season for abolition in May 12 1789. In the West Indian lobby only sixty members were present and the trade’s supporters had already called abolition a mad wild fanatical scheme of enthusiasts. Wilberforce spoke for more than a few long hours. Although the House finished by suspending the matter the Times stated that both sides believed Wilberforce’s speech was one of the greatest that Parliament had ever listened to.
Throughout the American colonies slavery was there through the seventeen and eighteen hundreds slaves are actually the reason we are an economic power house because of the production of valuable crops specifically cotton and tobacco. With Americas west word colonization and the abolition movement provoked great debate started over slavery then in the mid eighteenth century a bloody civil war broke loose. Though the union eventually wins which freed millions of slaves we continued to discriminate them but in the late nineteenth century largely because of the civil rights movement everybody is equal.
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