Women The Liberator to promote immediate abolition. Garrison

and men from the north and south and slaves themselves fought to create a more
perfect union as abolitionists. The show “The Abolitionists” on PBS retold
stories of individual abolitionists and how they influenced the movement to end
slavery. According to the film, in the late 1820s, there were two million
people living in bondage across the south. Cotton gins made slavery almost
crucial in the south as well. “Slaves were the single largest financial asset
in the entire American economy,” making it worth more than manufacturing,
railroads and other transportation combined (‘The Abolitionists”). Angelina
Grimke, the first individual mentioned, came from a slave owning family but
strongly disagreed with the idea of slavery mostly because she feared for the
fate of their white owners. Slavery forced her to question her own religious
choices and relationship with God. Angelina believed “slavery was a sin and
that god would punish people that had slaves” (“The Abolitionists”).

Eventually, she became extremely frustrated and fled her family in the south to
go to the north; this was considering disobedient to the south, the church and
proper society. Although the threat posed by the abolitionists to the South was
large, people like Fredrick Douglas and other individuals were successful with
their efforts despite some setbacks.

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William Lloyd Garrison was a
prominent abolitionist and journalist. He believed that blacks could share
America’s promise of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. At first, he
was a part of the American Colonization Society, a society that believed that
blacks should return to Africa. He thought it helped free blacks but later disillusioned
because it decreased the number of free slaves in America. This was when he
left that society and created his own newspaper known as The Liberator to promote immediate abolition. Garrison stated, “I
am willing to be persecuted, imprisoned, and bound for advocating African
rights and should deserve to be a slave myself if I shrunk from that duty or
danger” (“The Abolitionists”).  This
paper threatened the way of life in the south and Garrison knew that because of
the threat letters he received in the mail. He was threatened to be thrown in
jail if he ever entered the city of Raleigh in North Carolina. Garrison would
then publish these letters in his newspaper showing no fear of them and never
deterred from his cause. This only made the anti-slavery movement stronger, the
opposite effect of the Southern writers. 

The southerners needed slavery
mostly to obtain workers that did not need to be paid which gave southerners
more money to buy more slaves, land and even pay taxes. In addition, slaves
helped keep their land owners’ farm growth and plantations healthy. The south also
used slaves in their army.  The North did
not like how the South did not pay their workers like they did which is mainly
why the Civil War started. These abolitionists threatened this way of life in
the south for clear reasons. Lack of slaves meant less money and more work for
the owners to do. 

Nat Turner’s Rebellion and the
underground railroad were also significant in The rebellion showed the dissatisfaction
of slaves in the south as the largest slave rebellion to ever take place in the
United States. It caused an immense amount of fear in the area of the
rebellion. Numerous innocent blacks were murdered as a result of the rebellion.

Countless southerners were angered and connected this rebellion to the
northerners want to end slavery.

Fredrick Douglass, an illustrious
human rights leader for the emancipation of slavery, affected the success of
abolition. He was born into slavery in Maryland and also lived amongst free
black men. He secretly learned to read. Douglass was one of the key leaders of
the American Anti-Slavery Society along with Garrison. Douglass would speak at
the meetings. Additionally, he published a narrative about his life that
included his master’s name, where he lived, the horrible treatment he received and
how slavery degrades both the master and the slave. Douglass knew that
mentioning his owners name could be life threatening but he had also stood up
to his owner in this past by almost choking him. Nobody heard about that
altercation because it would degrade the master like he had mentioned in the
narrative. By mentioning the name of the master in his book, the master was
treated differently by friends and town folk therefore ruining his life. Douglass
married Anne Murray and escaped to the north. By the time the Civil War had
happened, Douglass was one of the most influential black men in America.

John Brown was yet another
important person in the abolition of slavery but not until 1855, when he became
the leader of antislavery guerillas in Kansas territory. He gave hope to
northerners. In an attempt to begin an armed slaves revolt, he organized the
raid on Harper’s Ferry. Douglass and Brown had worked together to collect money
and weapons for the fight. Douglass stated “while I continue to write and speak
against slavery, I have become less hopeful of its peaceful abolition. I
welcome any new mode of attack upon the slave system” (“The Abolitionists”). But
Douglass declined to join Brown on his raid because he thought it would not be
successful. Within 24 hours of Harper Ferry’s raid, half of Browns men were
dead or dying and him along with four survivors were trapped and captured by
Robert E. Lee. This threatened the southern way of life because it made some
slave owners fearful.

            All the Abolitionists mentioned in
this film, were successful in their efforts collectively. There were some that
I think that had more of an impact on the abolition of slavery than others.

Douglass was someone who dealt with the problem peacefully but strongly which I
admired and thought it worked effectively. Garrison’s strong worded in his
newspaper got his but he was determined to get his opinion out and make people
listen. This was how they got more supporters emancipate slaves. John Brown dealt
with his frustrations violently because he felt peaceful protests were not
working so he raided Harper’s Ferry which ended up not successful at all. The anti-slavery
movement threatened the Southerner’s way of life greatly because of how much
slave owners relied on their slaves to do work for them. Slavery was caused a
significant increase in the economy and without it, they feared what would