Evaluate the effectiveness of the primary goal of the abolitionist movement.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The primary goal of the abolitionists and their movement was to eliminate slavery.  They were focused on arousing the consciousness of America in order for action to be taken.  The abolitionists believed in the fervor and authenticity of their cause.  Their primary purpose was to move the issue of slavery away from the political realm and into the realm of the social and the moral.  Their belief was that if they could convince Americans of the moral wrong of slavery, then it would become evident that slavery would be condemned.  Abolitionists took to writing and publishing works and narratives that would "shame" Americans into allowing slavery to exist.  On this level, I think that the abolitionists were ahead of their time in understanding that real and substantive political and social change happens when individuals set out to fundamentally transform how people think and in what they believe.  This becomes one of the primary goals of the abolitionist movement, something that becomes evident in the writing and thinking of the Grimke Sisters, Stowe, Garrison, and Douglass.

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