What is Abolitionism, concept, meaning

The term abolition refers to the action of ending a law. However, the concept of abolitionism is associated with a very specific phenomenon: slavery. Therefore, it is essential to know how to differentiate them, it is common to make confusion as a consequence of the grammatical and auditory connection. What is Abolitionism?

The liberal ideas that emerged in the French Revolution were decisive for the abolition of slavery in the Western world

In the context of the ancient world there was a clear distinction between two types of men: the free and the slaves. The former had their rights recognized, while the latter were men and women who formed a workforce and did not have most of the rights of citizens.

As a general rule, slaves lived in a very precarious situation and were subject to the will of their masters. In some historical contexts, for example, at the time of Ancient Greece, the figure of the slave had a certain social recognition (for example, the first pedagogues were slaves).

The term slave received other related names, such as servant or vassal . In the case of women, the sex slaves were concubines. Regardless of the word used, every person who finds himself in the service of another lives in a situation of slavery. What is Abolitionism?

After the French Revolution of 1789 a text of great historical relevance was published, the “Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen “. The first article states that “men are born and remain free and equal in rights”.

This principle was the decisive advance towards the gradual abolition of slavery in countries like the United States, Spain, Russia, the United Kingdom and Portugal.

Although abolition was formally imposed, in practice there are still people living in slavery.


Abolitionist movements defended their theses for humanitarian reasons and because slavery represented a degradation of human dignity. Another argument used was of an economic type, as it was considered that a free man is more productive than a slave. What is Abolitionism?

Some leaders and intellectuals were against this reform. Anti-abolitionists had their own arguments:

1) there are men who cannot be free because they were born to serve the powerful, What is Abolitionism?

2) the economic system can only function effectively if there is a large volume of workers under slavery,

3) not all slaves want to be freed, because with their release they lose the protection and security of their masters.

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