Abolition (West's Encyclopedia of American Law)
The destruction, annihilation, abrogation, or extinguishment of anything, but especially things of a permanent natureuch as institutions, usages, or customs, as in the abolition of SLAVERY.
In U.S. LEGAL HISTORY, the concept of abolition generally refers to the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century movement to abolish the slavery of African Americans. As a significant political force in the pre-Civil War United States, the abolitionists had significant effect on the U.S. legal and political landscape. Their consistent efforts to end the institution of slavery culminated in 1865 with the ratification of the Constitution's THIRTEENTH AMENDMENT, which outlawed slavery. The abolitionist ranks encompassed many different factions and people of different backgrounds and viewpoints, including European and African Americans, radicals and moderates. The motives of the abolitionists spanned a broad spectrum, from those who opposed slavery as unjust and inhumane to those whose objections were purely economic and focused on the effects that an unpaid Southern workforce had on wages and prices in the North.
Efforts to abolish slavery in America began well before the Revolutionary War and were influenced by...
(The entire section is 1595 words.)
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