by Chris Booher

What is slavery?

Slavery is the involuntary servitude of one perso
n to another.

The Abolition Movement

The Abolition Movement was one of the most influential movements in the United States leading to an incredibly violent war that tore our country in half. Many influential minds came together to help eradicate Slavery and to fuel the Abolition Movement. The Abolition Movement was started when European laws decreed slavery illegal and a breach of moral code.

The History of Slavery

Modern slavery d
oes not differ far from historical slavery. In ancient times, before civilizations were started
Slaves have been a tool in the economy throughout history. These slaves were used in Ancient Greece.
there was no use for slaves, individual hunters

Slaves were transported in huge numbers from Africa, many would die on the long "Middle Passage" where they would be trapped shoulder to shoulder with other slaves for weeks at a time.

and farmers and gatherers had no need for an extra mouth to feed. But when civilizations started to form, people could shift focu
s from finding food to inventing and exploring science, and building things. The problem with this concentration of people who do not grow their own food is it puts a strain on farmers in the countryside, who alone could not create enough food for the masses. This is where slavery steps in. Slaves are a cheap and (usually) reliable source of manual labor that only costs the owner a place to stay and minimal food. But how do you get slaves? Nobody wants to be a slave, so with few exceptions all slaves up until Archaic Greece were acquired through war. After a war was won, the victor would gather the remaining men and women and bring them home as slaves in their kingdom. All this changed during the Greek Classical period, where individuals who were so in debt could sell their freedom to an individual in exchange for cancellation of their debt. Ever since ancient Babylonian times, Slaves have been able to own property, however their property is then the property of their owner. During the middle ages, the popularity of slavery took a dive, and serfdom took over. Serfdom is when people live their lives working for a lord on a plot of land in exchange for safety from other Lords. Because serfdom involved voluntary servitude, it is not considered slavery, although the amount of control the lords had over their subjects compared it to slavery in the past. After feudalism started to dissipate in the 15th century, slavery started to increase. In 1619, Dutch merchants brought the first slaves to the United States, as they were less costly than indentured servants.

First Abolitionist Groups

For 200 years slaves were the foundation of the American economy, it wasn’t until 1789 that the first abolition group was founded

"Am I not a man and a brother." The Motto of the first Abolition group.

( The group was called The Society for Effecting the Abolition of the Slave Trade, and their motto was “Am I not a
man and a brother?” This group was located in North Eastern America, and was made primarily of Quakers, who preached anti-violence and equality. At the time, Countries in Europe such as England and Scotland were outlawing slavery, and looking to ban the trade overseas. This was one of the main instigating factors that influenced abolition. After the elimination of slavery in Europe, A group of 400 blacks moved back to Sierra Leone in Africa to create the village of Freetown. Freetown was unique in that the populace was made up of blacks from all over Africa who had
been taken and returned, this is an important lesson to consider when discussing discrimination as they lived together regardless of tribe or belief.

Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln was elected president in 1860, but had campaigned against slavery for years before. Lincoln’s emancipation proclamation is perhaps his most famous work, and potentially the most
important part of the abolition movement. The Emancipation Proclamation was read in 1863
by Lincoln himself, and declared all slaves in all states free. At the time of its reading, the civil war was
reaching it’s third year of bloody conflict. Most people recognize the Proclamation as the end of slavery, however the most important part of Lincoln’s work was allowing African Americans to join the military. As many as 200,000 African Americans joined the Union army to help fight the confederates.

Abraham Lincoln and his Emancipation Proclamation were a turning point in the Abolition Movement.


"Emancipation Proclamation." A&E Television Networks, Web. 29 Nov. 2014.

PBS. PBS, Nicholas Boston, Jennifer Hallam, Web. 30 Nov. 2014.

"Primary Documents in American History." 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: Primary Documents of American History (Virtual Programs & Services, Library of Congress). Library of Congress, n.d. Web. 30 Nov. 2014.

"Life After the 13th Amendment." Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives. Web. 30 Nov. 2014.
Founded in 2007, The Frederick Douglas organization is credible because they are a group of abolitionists who support the eradication of slavery.
Their Motto is “FDFI brings the guidance of history to the fight against modern slavery.

Congress, U.S. "Thirteenth Ammendment." Gale Group, 2006. Web. 2 Dec. 2014.

Alex, Er E.M. Hess, and Thomas C. Frohlich, 24/7 Wall St. "Countries with the Most Enslaved People." USA Today. Gannett, 23 Nov. 2014. Web. 08 Dec. 2014.