ERIC Number: EJ745362
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Dec
Reference Count: N/A
The Antislavery Movement in Early America: Religion, Social Environment and Slave Manumissions
Social Forces, v84 n2 p941-966 Dec 2005
Although traditional explanations of the historic slave manumission movement during the early Republic have stressed religion, rival ones have emphasized broader environmental forces. However, the literature has offered non-systematic conceptualizations of religion and impressionistic empirical analyses of the facilitators of liberations. In response, I examine the Methodist church's efforts to convince the faithful to free their slaves in Brunswick County, Virginia, from 1782 to 1808. Analyzing the entire population of freedom documents, I report that evangelical ideology motivated masters to make the initial decision to release chattels and that Methodist organizational and social environmental factors influenced masters' decisions regarding when manumissions were written, how many slaves were freed, and whether willed or deeded liberations were awarded. Masters' traits also influenced when willed (moderate) and deeded (radical) manumissions were issued. I end by discussing the role played by economic self-interest in masters' decisions to free bondspeople.
Descriptors: Slavery, Freedom, Religion, Social Environment, Religious Organizations, Environmental Influences, Role, Economics, Decision Making, Ideology
University of North Carolina Press. 116 South Boundary Street, P.O. Box 2288, Chapel Hill, NC 27515-2288. Tel: 800-848-6224; Tel: 919-966-7449; Fax: 919-962-2704; e-mail: email@example.com; Web site: http://uncpress.unc.edu/.
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Virginia