Spain was among the first nations to abolish slavery in 1541 and the Somerset case in England that led to the emancipation of a slave initiated the movement to see that slavery in England was abolished. In 1789, France abolished slavery but slavery was later restored by Napoleon. Slavery in the United States began in Virginia’s Jamestown in North America. The first ship from America (called Desire) set out from Massachusetts in what started the slave trade from Africa to Britain’s American colonies. The American Abolitionist Movement was a movement in the United States that came before the American Civil War to put a stop to slavery, be it formal or informal. Several historians describe an abolitionist as an individual who prior to the civil war had called for the effective, unconditional and complete abolition of all forms of slavery in the United States (Schneider and Schneider, 2000, p.Abolitionism is an important historical endeavor that halted African slave trade and freed slaves in Western Europe and the Americas. In the 17th Century, evangelical groups and Quakers from England vehemently expressed opposition to slavery and its associated trade and branded it un-Christian, and in the following century, in all the 13 colonies, abolition became a core message of the First Great Awakening and in the same period, the Enlightment’s rationalist thinkers referred to slavery as a transgression against the rights of men. James Edward Oglethorpe is particularly remembered for his unrelenting crusade against slavery, causing it to be abolished in the province of Georgia on grounds humanistic. He also debated against the practice of slavery in parliament and moved some of his prominent and influential friends such as Hannah More and Granville Sharp to join him in his quest. After his demise in 1785, these and more of his friends joined William Wilberforce in coming up with the Clapham sect (Bracey and August, 1971, p.In as much as the late 18th Century was riddled with anti-slavery tasks and movements, some of the colonies such as those in the south of the United States who practiced slave labor continued with slavery. After the establishment of the United States following the American Revolution, northern states such as Pennsylvania (in 1780) put in place laws that abolished all kinds of slavery in which the state of Massachusetts came up with a constitution that asserted the equality of all men and thus
of Scholarly Articles. New York: Garland Pub., 1999, 24.
McNeese, Tim. The Abolitionist Movement: Ending Slavery. New York: Chelsea House, 2008, 67.
Menard, Russell R. "Gelien Matthews..:Caribbean Slave Revolts and the British Abolitionist Movement." The American Historical Review: 602, 903.
Schneider, Dorothy, and Carl J. Schneider. Slavery in America: From Colonial times to the Civil War : An Eyewitness History. New York: Facts on File, 2000, 9.
Tackach, James. The Abolitionist Movement. Farmington Hills, MI: Greenhaven Press, 2005, 772.
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