2013 DBQ

Topics: Slavery in the United States, Abolitionism, American Civil War Pages: 3 (907 words) Published: January 23, 2014
The perception of slavery, ranging from a necessary evil to a positive good, was largely split in America. Southern plantation owners relied on slavery to support their economies and shape their culture, while many northern citizens were indifferent on the idea of slavery. After the Second Great Awakening, the abolition movement was introduced and opposition to slavery began to receive attention. As slavery grew in the south with the creation of the Cotton Kingdom, abolition grew as well. Due to religious influences, acquisition of new American territories, and abolition support from women, opposition to slavery grew rapidly in the United States between 1776 and 1852. The abolition movement gained momentum from blossoming religious ideas that opposed slavery. Many Christian Americans adopted the idea that God did not intend for slavery to exist and they used this idea to support their opposition to slavery. A surge of religious revival accompanied the arrival of the abolition movement during the Second Great Awakening; therefore, the connection between religion and opposition to slavery was extremely strong. Slaves and freed slaves that upheld Christian views received great support from religious abolitionists. For instance, Reverend Mr. Gloucester, a freed black minister, was gifted with funds from the church to aid in freeing his family (Document C). An underlying cause of the Christian abolitionist’s disapproval of slavery stemmed from their realization of the cruelty in enslavement. The cruel true nature of slavery was showcased by individuals such as Frederick Douglas, who published the story of his sufferings as a slave (Document G). With the realization of the cruelty in slavery, religious abolitionist groups were propelled into action. For example the American Anti-Slavery Society produced the “Declaration of Sentiments” in opposition to slavery and its disregard for human rights(Document E). The state of Massachusetts proclaimed in their...
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