The start of the abolition and resistance of slavery came during a time of a growing awareness of moral issues, such as liberty and equality, this period is called the Enlightenment. Another compelling reason for slave resistance was the increased public awareness of the horrors of slavery, such as the terrible conditions that Africans had experienced on the slave ships.
Early opposition of slavery started with religious figures or groups and courageous individuals. One of the first religious groups who were against slavery were the Quakers, in the late 1600's (Bailey, p.147). They felt very strongly that their morals could not allow them to
support or agree with this type of trade. They immediately began debating the slave trade using religious writing's as their arguments as to why they felt this way. Unfortu...
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...re profiting nicely from their slaves, who had much to lose from the abolition of slavery. Although the anti-slavery movement might not have been “perfectly virtuous” as some older historians have stated, most, if not all, of the abolitionists were driven by moral concerns. Perhaps more accurate would be to say that moral, political, economic, and religious reasons all played a part in the abolition of slavery, but that it was the persistence of those of the moral persuasion that eventually ended slavery.
"Petition of a Grate Number of Blackes" to Thomas Gage, May 25, 1774
Bailey, Richard. “The Christological Writings of Maurice Creasey: A Response,” Quaker Religious Thought 120.1 (2013).
Olaudah, Equiano. The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Yassa, Written by Himself. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1995.
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