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Reading Quizzes

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Big Picture


1. Why was American slavery such a paradox?
2. What tactics did proslavery activists in Congress use to oppose abolitionists?
3. Besides ending slavery, what were the goals of the abolitionists?
4. Why did white abolitionists worry about radial black abolitionists like David Walker?
5. Which political party was the most powerful party that supported the antislavery platform?


1. The American Revolution was based on the concept of self-determination and the rejection of divine birthright, but slavery was quite the contrast since it was, in essence, subjugation from birth.
2. They instituted a "gag rule," which banned antislavery legislators from even raising the subject of abolition.
3. They wanted to reconfigure the terms by which Americans applied their concepts of liberty and equality. In other words, they wanted to create a society that would grant the freedoms won by the Revolution to all American citizens, black and white, male and female.
4. Many white abolitionists wanted gradual emancipation of slaves and feared that the radial statements of men like David Walker (who called for an immediate end to slavery) would scare away potential supporters and even hurt the entire movement.
5. The Republican Party.