Chapter

Immediatism, Dissent, and Gender: Women and the Sentimentalization of Transatlantic Anti-Slavery Appeals<sup>1</sup>

Carol Lasser

in Women, Dissent, and Anti-Slavery in Britain and America, 1790–1865

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780199585489
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191728969 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199585489.003.0006
Immediatism, Dissent, and Gender: Women and the Sentimentalization of Transatlantic Anti-Slavery Appeals1

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This chapter distinguishes between anti-slavery arguments developed by dissenting women in Britain and America between the 1790s and the 1850s. While women on both sides of the Atlantic asserted the propriety of their intervention in anti-slavery discourse, British women working in the tradition of rational dissent began, in the 1790s, by arguing that abstention from the consumption of slave-made goods would have an economic impact that would undermine the profitability of slavery and thus bring about its demise. American women instead emphasized their concerns with moral purification to which their abstention would testify, thereby setting a religious example for the necessary conversion that would speed the ending of slavery. Ultimately, the sentimentalization of women's anti-slavery discourse dominated, leaving behind the economic arguments of the early rational dissenters.

Keywords: anti-slavery; dissent; abstention; women; sentimentalization; economic impact

Chapter.  9835 words. 

Subjects: Christianity

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