What motivated abolitionists to their cause? 

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Some abolitionists were motivated to their cause by personal experience of slavery.  These were, of course, the black abolitionists.  The most famous of these was Frederick Douglass.  However, most abolitionists were white.  They were motivated by their moral beliefs.  For this reason, many of the abolitionists were devoutly religious.  Many Quakers were abolitionists.  Theodore Weld, who many people see as the most important abolitionist leader, had been deeply involved in the Second Great Awakening.  Their strong religious beliefs helped turn them against slavery.  Others were less religious.  Both religious and less religious abolitionists were, for the most part, motivated by the belief that slavery was immoral.