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The American Political Tradition and the Men Who Made It - Study Guide Chapter 6, Wendell Phillips: the Patrician as Agitator Summary & Analysis

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Wendell Phillips is relatively unknown in comparison with the other figures in the book. He was one of the most famous members of the abolitionist movement, next to William Lloyd Garrison. He was an organizer and agitator against slavery. He saw his role as an agitator as buttressing republican institutions and preventing people from becoming indifferent. Phillips believed strongly in moral progress and that the end of slavery was inevitable. He also gave a likeable and sensible face to the abolitionist movement, in contrast to Garrison. He helped to gain the abolitionist movement legitimacy. Phillips and his wife were wealthy, so they were able to devote themselves full time to advocating the abolition of slavery. However, agitation was dangerous and Phillips was constantly followed by mobs.

Abolitionism was not about economics; instead, it...

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This section contains 383 words
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