ABOLITIONISTS, THEN and NOW
“It is our duty to proceed from what is near to what is distant, from what is known to that which is less known… in order to make our work help anyone who seeks truth and loves wisdom.”
~ Abū Rayḥān Muḥammad ibn Aḥmad Bīrūnī (ابوریحان محمد بن احمد بیرونی), Persian Scholar and polymath (973 – 1050)
The Society for Effecting the Abolition of the Slave Trade, was a British abolitionist group, formed in 1787, when twelve men gathered together at a printing shop in London. Little could they have suspected that their fledgling efforts would revolutionize matters of law, religion, ethics, politics, and indeed change the culture of an entire world for whom slavery had always been as natural and accepted as the changing of the seasons.
Throughout history, enormous shifts in perception have begun with a small band of committed citizens. The struggle for freedom is an ancient and noble cause. The abolitionist movement has a long and storied history. As we shall see, there are similarities and parallels between old struggles and current conditions.
We do not arrive at our present place uninformed by what has gone before. We are the inheritors of a tradition forged by men and women of great courage and conviction, many of whom gave their lives to further the promise of “liberty and justice for all”. To help put our current efforts in some historical context, we wish to present just a sketch of some of the the events and personages who made major contributions to the abolitionist cause.
Was Abolitionism a Failure? Jon Grinspan, New York Times, February 1, 2015
How Our Modern Way of Life Is Built on a Long Legacy of Slavery, By Greg Grandin, introduction by Adam Hochschild, Alternet, February 23, 2014: How banking, insurance, medicine and many other aspects of modern life have their roots in the slave trade.
For information in greater depth on the history of the American abolitionist movement: American Abolitionism
For a complete synopsis of the history of slavery in the world, see: TheFullWiki/History of Slavery