There has been a growing opposition to slavery in the United States of America, ever since the writing of the Declaration of Independence. Slavery had become widely debated as either a good or a bad thing. Some people were strongly for it, and some people were strongly against it. During the time of 1776 to 1852, many events such as the writing of the Declaration of Independance, the 2nd Great Awakening, and the Compromise of 1850 occurred that underlined America’s growing opposition to Slavery, and people began to realize that Slavery was morally wrong and against the Constitution. Around the time of 1777 to 1804, emancipation of slavery in the North was growing immensely (Document 1). This set the precedent for the rest of the country and the opposition of slavery spread.
In 1776, the writing of the Declaration of Independence brought out a large debate on the issue of Slavery. Thomas Jefferson wrote a rough draft of the Declaration of
Independence that included a section in which would not allow slavery in the colonies. Many people saw that slavery violated the human rights that people were fighting for. This passage was omitted from the final version of the Declaration of Independence because Jefferson decided people could not make enough money in the economy without slaves. Slavery was too important to the economic success of the people. Although Jefferson could not complete this attempt to end slavery, it is very important that in the year of 1776, at least he tried.
Thomas Jefferson took the first step to creating equality in the country. “We hold these truths to be selfevident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
This line is stated clearly in the final writing of the Declaration of Independance. After this was written into the Declaration, people began to question and oppose the idea of slavery.
Although Jefferson did not include his section on abolishing slavery, he still wrote the line
about how all men are created equal. If all men are created equal, then why are the blacks forced into slavery? That is exactly what the people of America began to ask after the writing of the Declaration of Independance. The Declaration of Independance was the start of
America's growing opposition on slavery and according to William Lloyd Garrison, through
God, we should plant ourselves upon the Declaration of Independance, and upon the truths of
Divine Revelation (Document 2).
In about 1840, the Second Great Awakening came about in the United States of
America. This was a protestant religious revival that tried to change the way of life in America.
There were people such as the Transcendentalists that tried to reform the way of life. These people tried to rid the nation of all bad things and improve the lives of everyone. For example, they tried to make it so men, women, and children would no longer work without wages
(Document 3). Some Transcendentalists were Hawthorne, Emerson, Thoreau, and the
Alcotts. This idea of riding the nation of all bad things was part of the Reform Crusades. A big part of these reforms was the abolitionists. Some of the abolitionists were Nat Turner, William
Garrison, Harriet Tubman, and Frederick Douglas. These were all people who tried to abolish slavery. They all had the idea of reform and improvement in America. The abolitionists believed that the best way to improve way of life was to abolish slavery. Some of these abolitionists were enslaved themselves at one time. William Lloyd Garrison talked about how he revolted against his slave owner, Mr. Covey. Garrison murdered his owner and escaped from slavery. He called it a glorious resurrection from the tomb of slavery, into the heaven of freedom (Document 4). Many abolitionists fought against slavery because of their own personal experiences. Utopian