Slavery in the Nineteenth Century Questions and Answers

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

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The abolitionist movement, as its name implies, was concerned with abolishing the institution of slavery once and for all. Those associated with the movement regarded slavery as a great moral evil whose continued presence on American soil was an abomination and an outrage. Although the vast majority of abolitionists may not have believed in racial equality, they still believed that slaves were human beings and, as such, had the same formal rights as the white majority.

As slavery was eventually abolished, the prime goal of the abolitionist movement was therefore successfully achieved. But it took four years of bitter bloody conflict in the Civil War to do this. It wasn't as if years of public meetings, pamphlets, and passionate campaigns by newspaper, Congressmen, and Senators had brought about the end of slavery all of a sudden. Only a vicious armed conflict between North and South had killed off the so-called peculiar institution once and for all.

In evaluating the success of the...

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