In the article, “The Commitment to Immediate Emancipation,” James Stewart depicts how, why, and who brought about the beginning of the emancipation of African slaves. Stewart’s article informed readers of the finite details during the Second Great Awakening. Stewart’s main focus was the amount of time it took the African slaves to be freed. He also includes information on abolitionists, a few philosophies of the abolitionists, and other factors that contributed to the elimination of slavery.
The beginning of the article sets the time frame and what was happening. It was during the Second Great Awakening (1830’s); this was a time of religious revivals, temperance, anti-prostitution, urbanization, and technological advances. These factors contributed to the freedom of the slaves in that that of readied the common folk for change.
Urbanization and technological advances sped up the flow of information around the country. With more people aware of the slaves’ situation more people joined the cause of the emancipation of slaves. Religious revivals often showed people the humane way of living without slavery, extreme amounts of alcohol, etc.
Stewart goes on to tell the reader how abolitionists grew up. Religion is also mentioned as a major part of most abolitionists’ upbringing. The article says, “The parents of abolitionists were usually well-educated Presbyterians, Congregationalists, Quakers, and Unitarians who participated heavily in revivalism and its attendant benevolent projects.” (P. 236) From this sentence one can assume that religion taught church-going citizens that slavery was wrong. Later in the passage, Stewart also mentions that indulging in sexual pleasures, dueling, drinking, and disregarding family ties were just as bad as slavery.
Mothers’ and women’s roles in general are referred to in the abolitionists’ rearing. In the passage “…abolitionists commonly paid homage to strong-minded mothers…” (P. 237) hints at the women’s rights movement...