Lecture 9/17 and 9/19 Flashcards Preview

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What were the two goals of abolitionism?

Immediate abolishment of slavery.
1. A movement for immediatism
2. Thought it was so morally wrong, as a sin in the eyes of God.
3. Abolished in the north, still strong in the South and some of the Border states like Virginia and Maryland

Equal rights for free blacks
1. Predominately a campaign for abolishment, but never seemed to be as excited about the equal rights but did work for it.


Abolitionism vs. northern opinion in general

i. Opposed to the further movement/spread of slavery by the time the Civil War started
ii. Concerned about the great “Slave Power”
iii. Concerned about free labor v. slave labor
iv. Most of the north saw the war to save the union
v. Most of the North was still about white supremacy, no fond feelings to slaves/blacks.
vi. Abolitionist made up 1-2% of Northern society, card carrying abolitionist that cared about the goals.
1. Helped put in motion the movements to support the war.
2. Biggest factor in start the Civil War


Factors conducive to abolitionism

1. Moral opposition to slavery in the North. Most of the north was against slavery in the abstract. Saw it as a contradiction to the DoI. Didn't want it in the north, but it was okay in the south.

2. Reform spirit of age. Religous age, saw slavery as a violation of the commandments of the bible.

3. Emancipation in British West Indies. More slaves per capita in the West Indies. Only 4% of slaves came to the U.S.. Rest went to West Indies.

4. Changes in Mass Communication. Large number of new communication techniques like print and speaking, steam power reduced cost and increased volume of printed material.


Barriers to abolitionism

1. Strength of slavery in the South. Population doubled in 30 years from '30 to '60. Cotton kingdom boomed and value of slaves tripled

2. Importance of slavery to whole U.S. economy. Single most powerful economic institution. Drove the economy

3. Racism of northern society. Economically, they didn't want to disrupt the apple cart. North was racially charged, didn't have sympathy.

4. Glorification of the Union. Without the union, people thought American society would fall apart. People believed that prosperity was tied with the Union. It was the Union of the colonies that helped fight off the redcoats during the revolutionary war. So it was almost like a spiritual term. Opposed to anything that put the state of the Union in danger. Slavery was that danger.


Nature of agitation

i. Someone who has a particular outlook on rhetorical activity and clear sense of goals to achieve them. Clear outlook on social activism.

ii. Stake out an extreme position to the evils they see in society. Talk about them in more extreme language.

iii. Type of mindset and use of rhetorical activity contrast to mainstream ways of rhetoric

iv. Not willing to compromise, but change the style of the message to form the message to the audience they’re speaking to


William Lloyd Garrison as an agitator

Garrison was more extreme. More harsh than most of his colleagues.

a. Slavery isn’t just wrong, its an abomination. Thought of it as the most evil institution in human history. No redeeming features.
b. Slavery tore apart families, rob people of their dignity, of their chastity.
c. Only god could understand the full scope of the atrocities of slavery


Public reaction to Garrison

1. People saw his language as extreme

2. Even saw as extreme to his fellow abolitionists

3. Embroiled in a series of disputes
a. With the clergy, thought they didn’t take a strong enough position
b. Supported womens’ rights
c. Thought of the constitution as the bloodiest document, a deal with hell.
i. A way to protect slavery

4. Used the lord as his strategy, saying the lord is telling him to deliver this message


Garrison's rhetorical strategy

Use of agitation


"The Liberator"

a. Created by WLG

b. Took on a variety of reform concepts
i. Main issue was Slavery

c. Exist from 1831 to 1865
i. Most people who subscribed to it were in New England
ii. But, people/abolitionists all over the country read it
iii. US, postal service cut him off as his message received criticism from people in the south

d. Took shots at ACS


American Colonization Society

a. Widely accepted in the north and the south

b. Thomas Jefferson and others supported it
i. Started in 1816

c. Purchased land in what is now Liberia

d. Was an anti-slavery society but was not part of the abolitionist movement

e. Wanted to send free slaves back to Africa


Author of "Thoughts On African Colonization"

William Lloyd Garrison


Purpose of "Thoughts On African Colonization"

Destroy credibility of ACS

Show it was ineffective and immoral. That it was not committed to emancipation of black people.


Target Audience of "Thoughts On African Colonization"

Members or supporters of the ACS. Those who put their faith in the ACS.


Genre of "Thoughts On African Colonization"

Expose, to show that the ACS was a fraud, a society that was actually supportive of slavery in a 200 page pamphlet


Evidence in "Thoughts On African Colonization"

10-point indictment
1. Look at handout
2. 10 charges started broad then narrowed down
a. To claim they were opposed to both goals of abolitionism

1. From ACS itself
a. Condemn the society with their own words
b. Taken from pamphlets written by society, speeches given, from members, etc.

2. Quantity
a. Used hundreds of quotes in total to support his 10-point indictment.
i. Look at handout
ii. 52 quotes for first charge (most important point)


Impact from "Thoughts On African Colonization"

Not persuade everyone.
Did create a sensation and society of people that wanted reform. Created a dent in the ACS armor.


Creation of the AASS

In 1833. Took a year after pamphlet release for AASS to be created. The National Abolitionist Society. Had 63 members. Started as a crack that turned into a flood.