Abolitionist Movement – Term Paper

Rise of Abolition Movement

The rise of the slave abolition movement took place in the northern states of America where most people did not support slave trade. The movement gained strength between the 1830s and 1860s led by white supporters of slave abolition such as William Lyod Garrison and free blacks like Frederick Douglas. Most of the slave abolition activists felt that slaveholding was sinful and should thereby be abolished. However, there was the non-religious group of abolitionists who opposed slaveholding based on the free labor argument which holds that slaveholding is inefficient, regressive and makes little economic sense (Cooper, Holt & Scott, 2014). The rise of the abolition movement resulted in armed confrontations and political debates leading to the development of laws that would abolish slavery. The most notable one is the 13th Amendment which officially abolished slavery. However, the abolition of slavery began with the Emancipation Proclamation made by Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War. In this proclamation, Lincoln stated that as of January 1st, 1863, all slaves would be forever free.

Slavery Impact on Today’s Society

While substantial academic research has been carried out on slavery, little academic work has been done on the effect of slavery on the contemporary society. However, while little has been done with respect to research work on the impact of slavery on the contemporary, some scholars have tried to research on this subject. According to research, slavery continues to affect society today. As observed by Everett (2014), elements of slavery can still be recognized in the contemporary society, particularly in America where slavery was prominent.

One of the impacts of slavery in the contemporary society is racial inequality. According to R Lovejoy (2009), racial inequality is still observed in the contemporary society even after slavery was abolished many years ago. Racial inequality can be observed in the way people from different races are treated with respect to employment and judicial process (Bertocchi ; Dimico, 2014). According to Everett (2014), in the contemporary American society, black people are still treated unfairly. For example, the rate of unemployment among black people in the US in 2015 was 9.5 percent as compared to 4.5 percent among the white people. While this difference in the rate of unemployment has been blamed on the difference in education between whites and blacks, data from EPI (Economic Policy Institute) indicate that disparity in education cannot fully explain the entirety of the difference in the unemployment rate between blacks and whites. According to research by Everett (2014), the unemployment rate among black Americans who have a similar level of education as their white counterparts is still almost twice as that of;the whites.

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American Anti-slavery Society

Similarly, the rate of incarceration among black people is higher as compared to that among the white people even when the crime rate between the two communities is similar. Black individuals account for 60 percent of the prison population in the US even when black people account for only 30 percent of the US population. According to statistics, one out of three black people in the US expects to be imprisoned in their lifetime. The disparity in the way black people are treated is, according to Everett (2014), the effect of slavery.

Another effect of slavery, according to studies, is animosity among communities. Slavery planted animosity between slaves and slave owners and this animosity has been handed down generations. While black and white people in the US have learned to coexist over the years, Cooper, Holt and Scott, (2014) asserts that there is a general suspicion and animosity between the two communities and while few violent confrontations have been witnessed, there is generally mistrust between white and black people.

The plight of black Americans in the current society can be traced back to slavery. According to Cooper, Holt and Scott (2014), slavery hampered the growth of black people. Statistics indicate that most black people in the US face many challenges such as poor housing, inadequate health care, a low level of education, and lack of employment opportunities. Everett (2014) asserts that these conditions exist among black people because they had to play catch up over the years after they were allowed to be free. ;

Slavery also resulted in mental slavery that is still felt in society. While slavery ended, its psychological effects still linger in society. Slavery made black people feel;inferior to their white counterparts. Consequently, they;descended;into self-denial. According to R Lovejoy (2009), most black people suffer from deep-seated inferiority complex and feel that white people are superior to them. R Lovejoy (2009) asserts that the inferiority complex that most black people feel is because that idea was implanted in the minds of their forefathers. According to R Lovejoy (2009), during slavery, white people made black people think;that they were inferior and this form of thinking has been handed down generations. This has made most black people to enslave themselves on these stereotypes.

Apart from the black society in the US, slavery has had an effect on societies in different parts of the world, but particularly in Africa. Africa has continually lagged behind economically when compared to Western countries and this can be linked to slavery. According to Cooper, Holt and Scott, (2014), the economy of a region is driven by the level of labor force available in the region. During the slave trade, most of the able-bodied individuals from Africa were shipped away. This is the time, according to Everett (2014), that many regions in the world were experiencing agrarian revolution. Taking away of the labor force thereby prevented agrarian revolution from taking place in Africa. The negative economic effects of slavery are still being felt in Africa.

Research Design and Methods

The research will focus on the regions that had the largest population of slaves in South America according to the information provided by the 1860 U.S. Census report considering that it reports on the last record of slave count. This information will be significant as it is the most up to date have been conducted five years earlier before slavery became illegalized in 1865. ;The investigation targets three County level outcome measures sourced from the Cooperative Congressional Election Study Survey of 2010 that pooled together other relevant surveys conducted in 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011. The data obtained will be used to design a combined set of data that would further be subset to the former Confederate States and used to identify whites from the 1317 South American counties;that would take part in the study. Additionally, the research will focus on a systemic review of research published between 2005 and 2015. Key phrases that include slavery in South America, slavery and contemporary issues, political attitudes linked to slave trade will be used in determining the relevant literature to be considered for the purpose of this research. Data presentation will be done using appropriate tables while the analysis will be done using the SPSS software to show the Bivariate relationship between the set of data obtained in the study. The inference will be based on the empirical results of this research. ;;;

Significance of the Proposal

The proposal will add to the limited information on the history of slavery and establish the impacts of this history on the contemporary issues with the focus on political attitudes in South America. Additionally, the research will offer substantive information about the current political behavior in South America. Through such information, it would be possible to understand what drives one to become a republican or a democrat. Other aspects of contemporary issues such as agriculture will be explored through this research in partiality hence will open an arena for further research. ;


Conclusively, the research will offer an elaborate exploration of the link between historical institutions, slavery, and contemporary issues such as the political attitudes.


Acharya, A. Blackwell, M. ; Sen, M. (2014). The political legacy of American slavery.

Bertocchi, G., ; Dimico, A. (2014). Slavery, education, and inequality. European Economic Review

Cooper, F., Holt, T. C., ; Scott, R. J. (2014). Beyond slavery: Explorations of race, labor, and citizenship in postemancipation societies. Chapel Hill: UNC Press Books.

Everett, S. (2014). History of Slavery: An Illustrated History of the Monstrous Evil. Chartwell Books.

R Lovejoy, P. E. (2009). Identity in the Shadow of Slavery. London: Continuum International Pub. Group.