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[ab-uh-lish-uh-niz-uh m] /ˌæb əˈlɪʃ əˌnɪz əm/
the principle or policy of abolition, especially of slavery of blacks in the U.S.
Origin of abolitionism
1800-10; abolition + -ism Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Word Origin and History for abolitionism

1790, in the anti-slavery sense, from abolition + -ism.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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abolitionism in Culture

abolitionism definition

The belief that slavery should be abolished. In the early nineteenth century, increasing numbers of people in the northern United States held that the nation's slaves should be freed immediately, without compensation to slave owners. John Brown, Frederick W. Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, Sojourner Truth, and Harriet Tubman were well-known abolitionists.

Note: Abolitionism in the United States was an important factor leading to the Civil War.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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