Definitions for abolitionismˌæb əˈlɪʃ əˌnɪz əm
This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word abolitionism
the doctrine that calls for the abolition of slavery
An opinion in favor of the abolition of something; the tenets of abolitionists.
the principles or measures of abolitionists
Abolitionism was a movement to end slavery, whether formal or informal. In Western Europe and the Americas, abolitionism was a historical movement to end the African slave trade and set slaves free. The Spanish government enacted the first European law abolishing colonial slavery in 1542, although this law was not widely enforced. Later, in the 17th century, English Quakers and evangelical religious groups condemned slavery as un-Christian; in the 18th century, abolition was part of the message of the First Great Awakening in the Thirteen Colonies; and in the same period, rationalist thinkers of the Enlightenment criticized it for violating the rights of man. The Somersett's case in 1772, which emancipated a slave in England, helped launch the British movement to abolish slavery. Though anti-slavery sentiments were widespread by the late 18th century, the colonies and emerging nations that used slave labor continued to do so: French and English territories in the West Indies, South America, and the South of the United States. After the American Revolutionary War established the United States, northern states, beginning with Pennsylvania in 1780, passed legislation during the next two decades abolishing slavery, sometimes by gradual emancipation. Massachusetts ratified a constitution that declared all men equal; freedom suits challenging slavery based on this principle brought an end to slavery in the state. In other states, such as Virginia, similar declarations of rights were interpreted by the courts not applicable to Africans. During the following decades, the abolitionist movement grew in northern states, and Congress limited the expansion of slavery in new states admitted to the union.
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"abolitionism." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2015. Web. 26 Apr. 2015. <http://www.definitions.net/definition/abolitionism>.