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p. 875. The abolitionist renaissance and the coming of the Civil Warlocked

  • Richard S. Newman

Abstract

Although abolitionists never enjoyed widespread popularity in the United States, they found that northerners were more interested in their critiques of slavery during the 1850s. “The abolitionist renaissance and the coming of the Civil War” explains how the passage of a stronger fugitive slave law, which turned white citizens into would-be slave catchers, raised new questions about the slave power and allowed abolitionist arguments to resonate more deeply, resulting in an abolitionist renaissance. From politics to pop culture, abolitionist ideas were diffused widely through American society. Even if most northerners did not join antislavery societies, the abolitionist struggle seemed ascendant in ways not seen since the late eighteenth century, a development that had profound consequences for sectionalism, disunion, and civil war.

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