The Antebellum period or the pre Civil War period, witnessed the urge on the part of the myriads of American individuals to usher social reform movements to address some complicated social issues. This period was the ideal one for such inclination because in this period a Puritan sense of mission to create an example of good living along with the Enlightenment belief in human goodness and perfectibility emerged gradually (“Reform Movements 1820-1860”, n.d.). Moreover, the Jacksonian democracy paved the way for the expansion of the concept of social equality and this again initiated the social reform movements (“Reform Movements 1820-1860”, n.d.). The urge for putting an end to slavery also should be considered as an outcome of this particular period. It is again in this specific period that great Abolitionist leaders surfaced in the social scenario and with their fiery speeches they succeeded in influencing the minds of innumerable Americans, both black and white, to render efforts to abolish slavery. Anthony Benezet, a Quaker of French Huguenot descent, in one of his speeches, rightly pointed out that “if buyers did not demand slaves, the supply would end” (“Anti-Slavery Activists”, n.d.). Such simple, yet powerful remarks, stirred the minds of myriads of Americans and this resulted ultimately in the abolition of slavery. But it should be kept in mind that though the orations of the Abolitionists were rendering momentum to the anti-slavery movements in the South, majority of people was still relying on the practice of promoting slavery. These southerners were proslavery and they believed that slavery was essential to human progress and it was a means to guarantee equality among the whites (“Chapter 11: The Peculiar Institution”, n.d.). But such views were ultimately refuted by Abolitionists like Sojourner Truth who believed that it is Christianity that taught her to liberate enslaved black women from the clutches of their evil masters and she stated that God instructed her to travel across the country, to preach anti-slavery messages, and to liberate the shackled blacks as for God everyone is equal irrespective of being black or white (“Anti-Slavery Activists”, n.d.). Hence, it can be said that in the Antebellum era it was the speeches of the Abolitionists that impacted heavily on the American populace resulting ultimately in the abolition of slavery.

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References

Anti-Slavery Activists (n.d.). Abolition, Anti-Slavery Movements, and the Rise of the Sectional Controversy. Retrieved September 26, 2013, from http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/aaohtml/exhibit/aopart3.html

Chapter 11: The Peculiar Institution (n.d.) [PowerPoint slides]

Reform Movements 1820-1860 (n.d.). Retrieved September 26, 2013, from http://teacherpages.nhcs.net/schools/hhs/billymason/Lecture%20Notes/Reform%20Movements.htm

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