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In response to the Missouri Compromise crisis (over the newly acquired western lands and whether they would permit slavery) and the increasingly strident abolitionist movement, southerners began to mount a new defense of slavery. Antebellum southerners' unapologetic defense of slavery as a "positive good" developed as a justification for an increasingly profitable cornerstone of the southern economy. It also provided a rationalization for maintaining a strict racial hierarchy in southern society.

In the spring of 1832, half a year after founding the New England Anti-Slavery Society, Garrison published Thoughts on African Colonization, an attack on the American Colonization Society. With financial support from abolitionist and wealthy New York City merchant Arthur Tappan, it gained a wide circulation, reaching as far west as Ohio. The New England Anti-Slavery Society instituted weekly anti-colonization forums in Boston and sent lecturers to surrounding cities and towns. It also planned Fourth of July meetings to compete with the traditional colonizationist activities, such as grand public orations designed to raise donations for the ACS.

Overview of Abolitionism Slavery in human societies dates back at least to antiquity in Egypt. "9 While such a concept seems imbued with the spirit of autocracy, Aristotle in fact hailed from Athens, the birthplace of democracy. Thus the institution of slavery had a very long history of paradoxical existence within otherwise free and democratic nations that long predated its introduction into the colonies that became the United States after 1776. The apparent contrast between a defiance of divine birthright (the American Revolution against the monarchy) and the acceptance of subordination-from-birth (slavery) was not lost on many colonists, black and white.

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