Abolitionists, in short, believed slavery should be banned. Abolition was a fierceissue in the minds of Americans. These are some of the early, most prominent Abolitionists that contributed to the separation of the country.
Notall abolitionists wanted slavery banned because they saw it as cruel and inhumane. Some only wanted abolition because they hated the slave aristocracy and wanted to help poor southern whites. Some only wanted slavery banned in the new territories so everyone could compete economically.
Hinton Helper wrote The Impending Crisis of the South, a book that said slavery should end because the South was developing much slower than the North. He believed the South’s focus on the cotton economy restricted its growth and made nonslaveholding whites poorer. Southern slaveholders banned his book because they feared the nonslaveholding whites would turn on them.
The Free Soil Party was a political party united by their wanting of abolition in the new territories. They rose to prominence in the late 1840s – early 50s. They believed that free new territories would be economically and morally superior than territories with slavery. In 1854, the Republican Party superseded the Free Soil Party.
Garrison was a hardcore abolitionist and very uncompromising. He wrote The Liberator, an anti-slavery newspaper, and eventually in 1833, he and other abolitionists founded the American Anti-Slavery Society. He used the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution to defend his arguments.
Probably the most influential abolitionist was Harriet Beecher Stowe. She was a white woman in the North who, in frustration at the strict fugitive slave laws, published her novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin. The novel was so influential to dividing the North and South that Abraham Lincoln told her in 1862, “So you’re the little woman who wrote the book that made this great war.
The novel focused on a slave and his family, and his cruel treatment from his slaveowner. Uncle Tom’s Cabin was the best selling novel in the 19th century. The cruel images in the novel made Northerners see the cruelty of slavery and turned more people to fierce abolitionists. The South banned it because they thought it was untrue and unfair. The novel led to further separation between the North and South.
Abolition was a main factor in the division of the country. Abolitionists hated slaveowners,and slaveowners hated abolitionists. Works of abolitionists, such as Uncle Tom’s Cabin, led the country into Civil War.