Opening Q • What is a cause or issue in today’s society that we should address or change? • How do you get society to make these changes?
Opening Q • “The United States government’s support of slavery was based on an overpowering practicality. In 1790 a thousand tons of cotton were being produced…by 1860, it was a million tons. In the same period, 500,000 slaves grew to 4 million.”
Radical Reform:Abolitionist Movement Beginnings, Vision and Shifts in Strategies
Context and Beginnings • Early 1800’s, slavery being phased out slowly in the North • Becoming more entrenched into Southern society/economy • Wide ranging American reform efforts taking place • Abolitionists viewed slavery as “the sum of all evil”, which gave rise to every imaginable sin: violence, despotism, racial prejudice, etc.
Essential Questions facing Abolitionists • How do we shape public opinion? • How do you persuade slave owners and people that slavery is wrong? • What specific strategies should be taken?
Slavery is Tested in Massachusetts • Elizabeth Freeman (1781) and Quock Walker (1783)sued for their freedom under the Mass. Constitution
Slavery Declared Unconstitutional • Provision in the Mass. Constitution was cited in both cases “All men are born free and equal, and have certain natural, essential, and unalienable rights; among which may be reckoned the right of enjoying and defending their lives and liberties; that of acquiring, possessing, and protecting property; in fine, that of seeking and obtaining their safety and happiness." Chief Justice of M.A., William Cushing, who wrote that "there can be no such thing as perpetual servitude of a rational Creature ..."
African American Community in Boston • Initially denied any public education, blacks in Boston and a few other Massachusetts communities were later required by law to attend racially segregated schools • The Abiel Smith School in Beacon Hill was established in 1836 • Schools were desegregated in 1855 in Massachusetts
Early Action • Many opponents of slavery supported "colonization" -- the deportation of black Americans to Africa, the Caribbean, or Central America. • By late 1820s, colonization was clearly impractical • Slave pop. rose 50,000/yr., but in 1830, only 259 free blacks to migrate to Liberia, (total no. of blacks colonized in Africa to just 1,400.)
Abolitionist Vision • The abolitionists put forward a definition of birthright citizenship: • "Anybody born in America is a citizen, black or white, doesn't matter. And they are citizens of the nation, not just of the state, and are entitled to the same equal rights as all other citizens of the nation."
Turning Points • 1829 David Walker’s Appeal calls for an immediate end to slavery, through violence if necessary • William Lloyd Garrison denounced colonization as a “cruel hoax” • 1831 calls for "immediate emancipation" of slaves without compensation • Within six yrs. 200 antislavery societies in the North
Divided in Strategies • In the face of vicious attacks, the antislavery movement divided over questions of strategy and tactics in three general ways. • Moral Persuasion: Southerners, over time, could be convinced of the sin of slave holding • Politics: Believed the most effective method to end slavery was through traditional politics. (Liberty Party in 1840, the Free Soil party in 1848, and the Republican party in 1854. • Militancy: Did not believe pacifism was effective, that more aggressive tactics were required; Southerners would only react to violence.
Obstacles Facing Abolition • Northern Indifference: • No support from the Gov’t, • Difficult to raise the issue of slavery in public • Northerners Economic Ties • Trade and financing of cotton • Fearful of massive northern black migration and loss of jobs • Violence • Abolition efforts often met with resistance in both the North and South.
Breaking the “Conspiracy of Silence” • First goal of Abolitionists was to raise awareness of the issue of slavery, to put the issue “on the table” • Wendell Phillips, the great abolitionist orator, said: “We must divide public opinion. Our enemy is not the slaveowner only. It's also the person of good will who simply doesn't want to talk about slavery and wants to keep it off the national agenda.”
Changes in Cotton Production 1820 1860
Initial Strategy • Garrison was a pacifist, advocated “non-resistance” • Believed in the use of moral persuasion: Southerners, over time, could be convinced of the sin of slave holding
HarrietBeecherStowe (1811 – 1896) So this is the lady who started the Civil War. -- Abraham Lincoln
Uncle Tom’s Cabin 1852 • Sold 300,000 copies inthe first year. • 2 million in a decade!
Tara – Plantation Reality or Myth? Hollywood’s Version?
The “Know-Nothings” [The American Party] • Nativists. • Anti-Catholics. • Anti-immigrants. 1849 Secret Order of the Star-Spangled Banner- created in NYC.
Mexican-American War (1846-48) • Annexation of Texas 1845 • Should Slavery be allowed in the new territories?
Starting the Shift… • Fugitive Slave Law (1850): Armed resistance to slave catchers • Signficance: • Justified the use of violence in attacking slavery • STARTED the SHIFT to violence
“The Crime Against Kansas” Congr. Preston Brooks(D-SC) Sen. Charles Sumner (R-MA)
Birth of the Republican Party, 1854 • Northern Whigs. • Northern Democrats. • Free-Soilers. • Know-Nothings. • Other miscellaneous opponents of the Kansas-Nebraska Act.
The Lincoln-Douglas (Illinois Senate) Debates, 1858 A House divided against itself, cannot stand.
Increasing the Shift… • Bleeding Kansas (1855-6): Anti and proslavery settlers rushed into Kansas to claim land and to ensure future status of slavery.
John Brown: Madman, Hero or Martyr? Mural in the Kansas Capitol buildingby John Steuart Curry (20c)
Completing the Shift! • John Brown’s Raid on Harpers Ferry (1859) • Reached final point: • Brown viewed as a hero/martyr in the North. • Sent shock waves throughout the South, fears of slave revolt and race war. • Only way to protect slavery was to secede. Harpers Ferry, U.S. Marine Raid on John Brown’s forces
√Abraham LincolnRepublican 1860 Presidential Election John Bell Constitutional Union Stephen A. DouglasNorthern Democrat John C. BreckinridgeSouthern Democrat
Republican Party Platform 1860 • Non-extension of slavery [for the Free-Soilers. • Protective tariff [for the No. Industrialists]. • No abridgment of rights for immigrants [a disappointment for the “Know-Nothings”]. • Government aid to build a Pacific RR [for the Northwest]. • Internal improvements [for the West] at federal expense. • Free homesteads for the public domain [for farmers].
1860 Election Results
Crittenden Compromise:A Last Ditch Appeal to Sanity Senator John J. Crittenden(Know-Nothing-KY)