James G. Birney and His Times: The Genesis of the Republican Party with Some Account of Abolition Movements in the South before, 1828

James G. Birney and His Times: The Genesis of the Republican Party with Some Account of Abolition Movements in the South before, 1828

James G. Birney and His Times: The Genesis of the Republican Party with Some Account of Abolition Movements in the South before, 1828

James G. Birney and His Times: The Genesis of the Republican Party with Some Account of Abolition Movements in the South before, 1828

Excerpt

Slavery agitation in the United States may be considered in two great periods. The first begins with the judicial abolition of slavery in Massachusetts in 1783, and the anti-slavery Ordinance of 1787 for the government of the Territory northwest of the Ohio River, and ends with the abolition of slavery in New York on the 4th of July, 1827. In its course the number of free States increased from one to twelve, and the number of freedmen nearly three hundred fold. It may be called the abolition era. It was a part of the larger movement which began in 1794 with the abolition of slavery in the French West Indies, extinguished it in numerous European colonies and several South American republics, and ended with its abolition in Mexico in 1829, and in the British West Indies in 1833 by act of Parliament.

The second period begins with the accession of General Jackson to the presidency in 1829, and ends with the abolition of slavery in the War of the Rebellion.

In the first period freedom was the assailant of slavery, seeking to extinguish it by moral and religious influences. In the second, the slave-power was the assailant, seeking to overthrow the freedom of speech, of the press, and of the mails, the right of trial by jury, the right of petition, and every other bulwark of civil liberty to extend slavery over the Territories of the United States and gain undisputed political supremacy in the nation.

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