Antislavery protests in the United States of America began shortly after the country’s independence. Earlier antislavery and abolitionist groups had laudable goals of liberating Africans from slavery. However, the two antislavery crusaders tackled the issue of slavery in quite different ways. Earlier antislavery movements campaigned to abolish slavery through a legislative approach and due process.
They had proposals that included the drafting and redrafting of legislation that could end the widespread spread of slavery without causing hostility. The legislation proposed buying enslaved people from enslavers and returning them home to Africa or any free state, as was done in Europe. Despite the calm approach, the process was slow and self-centered, making it disadvantageous for the fugitives.
The abolitionists were determined to end slavery as soon as possible. Initially, abolitionists advocated for gradual emancipation to provide African-Americans equal rights with whites. When it failed, Garrison and other abolitionist supporters and politicians, such as Abraham Lincoln, took a political antislavery stance.
During his senatorial campaign, Lincoln used public discussions to make his moral and rational case on the topic of slavery. However, William Garrison desired immediate results; thus, Garrison, along with other abolitionists, justified activism, protests, and violence controversies as self-defense, which led to radicalism and terrorism, and the eventual result was the American Civil War.
Although some northerners were enslavers, many abolitionist crusaders, such as journalist William Lloyd Garrison, were from the North. Southerners relied on slave labor to keep their economy afloat. As a result, southerners feared racial mixing and the economy’s collapse if slavery was abolished.
The Yankees did not want emancipated African-Americans to take their jobs. The southerners supported the legal plan since it allowed them to interfere with justice while keeping their slaves. In his debate with Stephen Douglass, the northerners were disturbed by Lincoln’s political antislavery rhetoric in the 1850s and 1860s, and these factors fueled hatred, leading to civil war.
There might have been no killing on American soil if the abolitionists had chosen a lawful approach and discourse. However, the only thing to blame is a lack of trust in the judiciary. For example, in the case of Dred Scott v. Stanford, the court denied African-American justice by citing the Missouri Compromise of 1820 as unconstitutional. In the 1860s, abolitionists urged Lincoln to eliminate slavery through an emancipation proclamation, which he eventually did.