The Colonization Movement
Once Africans were captured and brought across the Atlantic on the horrific Middle Passage, they were put into slavery in South America, the Caribbean, or the United States. By the late eighteenth century, a growing number of people in the United States began to express uneasiness with the slave system. George Washington(at right), the nation's first President, freed his slaves upon his death in 1799. Others did the same, and the number of free blacks in America began to rise sharply in many areas during the nineteenth century. At the same time, abolitionist groups that demanded the emancipation of all slaves rose in strength.
From this climate was born the idea of colonization, which proposed sending blacks, free and slave, back to Africa. The plan was supported by many of America's most prominent citizens, and by 1817 the movement began officially with the founding of the American Colonization Society. Sending their first blacks to Africa in 1820, the effort faltered at first due to its failure to find suitable territory on which to settle. The problem was solved, however, after the U.S. was able to acquire a large portion of land on the west coast of the continent. Liberia was created from this early settlement, and later became an independent country. Colonization continued sporadically for the next few decades, but support was inconsistent. The Civil War, and the emancipation that came with it, basically brought an end to the era of colonization in the United States.
To find out more about the colonization movement, click below:
-Send Them Back: The Colonization Idea
-The American Colonization Society: The Movement Begins
-Across the Atlantic: Colonization Gets Underway
-Liberia: A New Nation Is Born
-The Dream Dies: Colonization Comes to a Close
Take a look at my sources.
Check out links to explore other sites relating to African-American colonization on the web.
Return to my main Maritime Page.