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Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Written by Himself Historical Context

This Study Guide consists of approximately 135 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Written by Himself.
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Historical Context

In the mid-nineteenth century, when Douglass wrote the Narrative, the United States was becoming divided over the issue of slavery. In the North, a growing abolitionist movement that had started in the late eighteenth century began to gather momentum as its leaders made every effort to spread their antislavery message. They held meetings, gave lectures, published antislavery newspapers, and traveled across the country to spread their message. Meanwhile, in the South, slaveholders rigidly held on to their view that slaves were useful only as laborers that helped sustain their agricultural economy. White people, in both the North and the South, continued to treat slaves as inferior beings, in most cases denying them any legal protection.

However, as more slaves found their way to freedom in the North, either through the assistance of the Underground Railroad or their own inventive methods, they began to write of their experiences under...

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This section contains 797 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Written by Himself Study Guide
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Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Written by Himself from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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