Five major stages of debate about abolitionism have been identified. The age of gradual abolitionism lasted from the 1770s to the 1820s. Initially, the majority of people did not condemn slavery in the New World as an institution, but the shift towards liberal views was apparent.
In the 1770s, started outlawing slavery, which made other states and individuals change their perspectives regarding the accepted norms. The period of gradual abolition in the British Caribbean and the French Caribbean was characterized by the ban on the international slave trade and the development of new models that sustained slave-based labor.
The American Revolution was an important landmark as it led to the creation of a country that would develop its own legislation and address slavery in its own way. English-led abolitionist movement preferred peaceful ways to change labor patterns.
The age of immediate abolitionism (the 1820s–1860s) and the French abolition movement were characterized by revolts that were the result of slaves’ despair and loss of any hope in gradual changes. People wanted dramatic and immediate transformations in their society. Finally, American society continued polarizing, and the road to civil war and emancipation in the United States was the final stage of abolitionism.