A nation divided
Abolition was the idea that slavery should be ended or abolished. Abolitionists felt that slavery was cruel and inhumane and needed to be done away with immediately because it was morally wrong.
This idea took hold of more northern people as tensions grew over the spread of slavery in the West. Abolitionists felt slavery went against their values of equality and liberty, as written in the Declaration of Independence and Constitution. They demanded the immediate freeing of the slaves.
Since the first slaves had arrived in America, there were people who wanted
slavery abolished. At first, they believed it could be ended over time, but they were
becoming impatient. They were resisted by Southerners who knew that the
abolition of slavery would destroy their economy.
Therefore, abolitionist leaders like William Lloyd Garrison, Frederick
Douglass, and Harriet Tubman spoke out against the issue of slavery and
helped slaves escape to the North.
The Underground Railroad was established by
Harriet Tubman during the mid-1800s to help
bring escaped slaves to the North. It was a secret
network of people who would feed and shelter
escaping slaves on their route to freedom. Harriet
Tubman was one of the most famous
"conductors" on the Underground Railroad.
so-called stations on the railroad were the hiding
places along the way. The slaves would typically
sleep by day and travel by night. All the while,
there were calls for emancipation - the freeing of
The North eventually began to feel that the only way to free the slaves was to
do it by force. The most notorious rebellions were attempted by a slave from
Virginia called Nat Turner and a white settler from Kansas named John
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