This book provides a fresh overall account of organised antislavery by focusing on the active minority of abolutionists throughout the country. The analysis of their culture of reform demonstrates the way in which alliances of diverse religious groups roused public opinion and influenced political leaders. The resulting definition of the distinctive `reform mentality' links antislavery to other efforts at moral and social improvement and highlights its contradictory relations to the social effects of industrialization and the growth of liberalism.

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