In this Book

summary
Paul Polgar recovers the racially inclusive vision of America's first abolition movement. In showcasing the activities of the Pennsylvania Abolition Society, the New York Manumission Society, and their African American allies during the post-Revolutionary and early national eras, he unearths this coalition's comprehensive agenda for black freedom and equality. By guarding and expanding the rights of people of African descent and demonstrating that black Americans could become virtuous citizens of the new Republic, these activists, whom Polgar names "first movement abolitionists," sought to end white prejudice and eliminate racial inequality. Beginning in the 1820s, however, colonization threatened to eclipse this racially inclusive movement. Colonizationists claimed that what they saw as permanent black inferiority and unconquerable white prejudice meant that slavery could end only if those freed were exiled from the United States. In pulling many reformers into their orbit, this radically different antislavery movement marginalized the activism of America's first abolitionists and obscured the racially progressive origins of American abolitionism that Polgar now recaptures.

By reinterpreting the early history of American antislavery, Polgar illustrates that the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries are as integral to histories of race, rights, and reform in the United States as the mid-nineteenth century.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
  2. pp. i-vi
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  1. Contents
  2. p. vii
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  1. List of Illustrations
  2. pp. viii-x
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  1. Introduction: Reimagining American Abolitionism
  2. pp. 1-21
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  1. 1. The Making of a Movement: Progress, Problems, and the Ambiguous Origins of the Abolitionist Project
  2. pp. 22-76
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  1. 2. The “Just Right of Freedom”: Enforcing and Expanding Gradual Emancipation
  2. pp. 77-121
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  1. 3. Republicans of Color: Societal Environmentalism and the Quest for Black Citizenship
  2. pp. 122-165
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  1. 4. “A Well Grounded Hope”: Sweeping Away the Cobwebs of Prejudice
  2. pp. 166-210
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  1. 5. “Unconquerable Prejudice” and “Alien Enemies”: The Roots and Rise of the American Colonization Society
  2. pp. 211-260
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  1. 6. A Prudent Alternative or a Dangerous Diversion?: First Movement Abolitionists Respond to Colonization
  2. pp. 261-317
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  1. Epilogue: A Movement Forgotten
  2. pp. 318-326
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. 327-330
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 331-342
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Additional Information

ISBN
9781469653952
Related ISBN
9781469653938
MARC Record
OCLC
1127052528
Pages
352
Launched on MUSE
2019-11-15
Language
English
Open Access
No
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