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Park 1 Didi Park Ms. Sheptyck APUSH P.

. 3 21 January 2013 The Growth of Opposition to Slavery from 1776 to 1852: A DBQ In 1776, the United States was a fledgling nation: slavery was extant, important to the South but not well adopted in the North. The Articles of Confederation would shortly be put into effect; the country was just getting onto its feet. Slavery was not a primary concern at the time, and simply gave the South an economic edge. However, opposition towards slavery gradually grew until sectional issues determined the outcomes of elections such as the Election of 1852 (AMSCO, 244). The growth of opposition to slavery was inevitable due to geographical and economic differences between the North and the South, and was fed by interacting social and political movements. Slavery as a moral issue was heightened through the religious fervor of the Second Great Awakening as well as the narratives of former slaves, notably those of Harriett Tubman and Frederick Douglass. Opposition towards slavery was ultimately driven forward by political and economic events. As early as 1783, the morality of slavery was called into question: the notion of the equality and freedom of men as present in the Declaration of Independence ran counter to the institution of slavery (Document B). Because of this, many northern states brought slavery to an end within their borders through either state constitution or law. Their southern counterparts did not, largely because the southern cotton plantation industry was so important to its economy (Document A). The difference between

Park 2 Northern and Southern adoption of slavery was largely due to geographical features: Northern land was mostly rocky and cold, and thus ill suited for large plantation farming, while the South was generally much more arable. Opposition to slavery became a more widespread movement through the Second Great Awakening. The Second Great Awakening called for greater moral conscience through religion, and gave rise to radical abolitionists, notably William Lloyd Garrison of the American Anti-Slavery Society, who condemned slavery as a sin (Document E). Members of religious communities, such as the Presbyterians, welcomed religious African Americans by even buying slaves freedom (Document C). The moral and religious fervors of the Second Great Awakening affected wider audiences than the more intellectual ideas in the Declaration of Independence, audiences that included women in the South (Document F). Former slaves also played a great role in the abolitionist movement: Harriet Tubmans novel Uncle Toms Cabin was highly successful and influential, causing many white northerners to view the institution of slavery as brutal and immoral, and to be strongly against the impending Fugitive Slave Act (Document J). Frederick Douglass writings on his experiences as a slave furthered the perception of slavery as cruel and additionally portrayed African-Americans as naturally intellectual and capable of living as equals with white men (Document G). Political policies related to slavery, including popular sovereignty and fugitive slave laws, only added fire to the flames of abolitionism. During the mid-19th century, increased opposition to slavery led political groups to adopt pro- or anti-slavery ideas into their platforms, or to devise new ways of maintaining sectional balance and solving the issue of slavery. One proposed solution by Finley of the American Colonization Society

Park 3 was to ship slaves back to Africa, specifically Liberia (Document D). It never proved to be successful, as slaves had integrated themselves into a unique African-American culture, and were not any better off in Liberia, a foreign land. Conscience Whigs, members of the Whig party who were decisively anti-slavery, were strongly against the fugitive slave laws, and warned former slaves in the North to be wary of bounty hunting slave catchers (Document I). Amongst the struggle between the North and the South to maintain sectional balance arose the ideas of David Wilmot, a free-soiler, who promoted the idea of popular sovereignty, which dictated that acquired territories should decide the status of slavery through voting (Document H). The paradigm of popular sovereignty was popular and adopted, but eventually led to more clashes between pro-slavery and antislavery factions. Popular sovereignty was an example of the overarching desire for compromise, and the Compromise of 1850 led to a tighter Fugitive Slave Law, outraging many abolitionists. The desire for compromise and popular sovereignty lead to legislation that ultimately strengthened the anti-slavery cause by inflaming it. The combination of intrinsic geographical differences between the North and South, the moral crusade which created the abolitionist movement, and the political turmoil which arose from sectionalism and compromise all acted together to escalate antislavery sentiment. Abolitionism became a widespread idea through the fervors of the Second Great Awakening but blossomed further through the heightening sectionalism of the 1850s.