The anti-slavery or abolitionist movement certainly impacted American society and politics as it emerged and expanded during the first half of the nineteenth century. Let’s look at some of its effects.
The movement organized in the first decades of the nineteenth century to protest the slave trade and call for the freeing of the slaves. You will want to talk about how the movement spread from a few Quakers and others then broadened as the years went by. The abolitionist movement often caused divisions and conflicts between people who held opposing views of slavery. It did, however, contribute to the end of the slave trade at the beginning of 1808.
Abolitionists petitioned Congress, ran for political office, and printed up and distributed many writings to promote their cause. These spread throughout the North and South. Abolitionists sought to change laws about slavery. First, they needed to influence public opinion and gain support, so beginning in 1830 they began to organize.
Political debates were common during the push for anti-slavery laws. Some called for full emancipation. Others focused on the prohibition of slavery in the territories. Tensions mounted as the years passed, especially sectional tensions. You should mention political parties like the Liberty Party and the Free Soil Party as well and discuss how they contributed to the founding of the Republican Party.
Finally, consider how the involvement of women in the abolitionist movement later contributed to the rise of the women’s rights movement with leaders like Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.