American Anti-Slavery Society

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<p>The American Anti-Slavery Society was one of the most prominent abolitionist organizations in the United States of America during the early nineteenth century.</p>
<p>In 1833, abolitionists Theodore Weld, Arthur Tappan, and Lewis Tappan founded the American Anti-Slavery Society. These men provided local and state antislavery anti-slavery societies, including the Ohio Anti-Slavery Society, with an organization that could take their cause to the national level. The American Anti-Slavery Society hoped to convince both white Southerners and Northerners of slavery's inhumanity. The organization sent lecturers across the North to convince people of slavery's brutality. The speakers hoped to moral suasion - persuade people that slavery was immoral and ungodly - to convince people them to oppose slavery. The American Anti-Slavery Society also bombarded the United States Congress with petitions calling for the end of slavery. Rather than addressing the slavery issue, Congress imposed &quot;the gag rule.&quot; The gag rule stated that the Congress would not accept any petitions from the American people that pertained to slavery. </p>
<p>Unlike earlier organizations, American Anti-Slavery Society members called for an immediate end to slavery. Most of the society's members also demanded that African Americans receive the same political, economic, and social rights as white people. Leadership of the American Anti-Slavery Society soon passed to William Lloyd Garrison. Garrison was perhaps the most vocal and best-known opponent of slavery before the Civil War. Under his leadership, the organization attracted more than 150,000 members.</p>
<p>In 1840, the American Anti-Slavery Society split. Garrison and his supporters called for the creation of a new government that prohibited slavery from the very beginning. He contended that the United States Constitution was an illegal document because it denied African Americans their freedom. If the South would not agree to form a new nation that outlawed slavery, Garrison said that the North should secede from the United States and create its own country. </p>