Although the Civil War occurred in 1861, slavery was an influential aspect of American politics during the early 1800s due to many reasons, the most important being the strong dependence of the south on slavery, the Anti-Slavery movements appearing in the United States and the eventual emergence of the Abolitionist movement. First and foremost, the reliance the South had with slavery during the 1800s created a tense political climate. Slavery was very important to the southern economy. The majority of slaves worked in plantation agriculture but many had other occupations such as butlers, maids, seamstresses, carriage drivers and stable hands. In 1860, states in the south owned a collective 3,950,511 slaves. 4.9 million bales of cotton were being harvested annually in the south by slaves. Africans in the United States also became important economic and political capital in the American political economy. Enslaved Africans were legally a form of property. Individually and collectively, they were frequently used as collateral in all kinds of business transactions. They were also traded for other kinds of goods and services. Cotton exports alone made up 50-60 percent of the value of the nation’s total exports, helping pay for imports from abroad. And slave labor provided the raw material for New England’s textile mills, helping stimulate the nation’s early industrialization. Due to these factors, the abolishment of slavery in the south seemed to be impossible. In north however, there was anti-slavery sentiment already prevalent. The north had two main movements during the late 1700s before the rise of abolitionism: gradualism and colonization. Gradualism was the idea that slavery should be ended gradually and slave owners should be compensated. This gained a lot of popularity in the north and in 1780 the Act for the Gradual Abolition of Slavery, was passed by the Pennsylvania legislature on March 1. It was the first attempt by a government to begin the abolition of slavery. The Act prohibited further importation of slaves into the state and established that all children born in Pennsylvania were free persons regardless of the race of their parents. Those enslaved in Pennsylvania before the 1780 law went into effect remained enslaved for life. Though, in 1847, the Pennsylvania legislature passed another act freeing its slaves altogether. A second concept was colonization. In 1817, The American Colonization Society, also known as ACS was formed to send free African-Americans to Africa. In 1822, the ACS society established a colony in 1847 that became the nation of Liberia. ACS supporters believed that that there was a resistance in the general public to an equalization of the races and that any attempt to press equalization was hopeless. The final and most important anti-slavery movement was Abolitionism. Decades before the Civil War, anti-slavery sentiment sparked an abolitionist movement that employed risky and radical tactics to bring an end to slavery. The abolitionist movement in the North was led social reformer, William Lloyd Garrison. Garrison was the publisher of The Liberator, its first issue on, Jan. 1st, 1831. Garrison’s focus was not compromise, he pushed for the immediate and complete abolishment of slavery. Shortly after starting The Liberator, he founded the New England Anti-Slavery Society in 1833. By 1838 there were more than 1350 chapters and 250000 members. Garrison and Theodore Weld recruited and trained many abolitionists for the Society. Abolitionism garnered a response all throughout the United States due to it being such a powerful movement. Although many northerners disapproved of slavery, some opposed abolitionism. Opposers viewed the movement as a threat to the social system of America and feared it would create an influx of free African Americans which would, in turn, overwhelm the labor in the North. People in the South viewed that the movement was a threat to their way of life. President Abraham Lincoln addressed abolitionism and the view of radical and immediate change in his speech, “The Perpetuation of Our Political Institutions” on January 27, 1834. In the speech Lincoln expresses the need for citizens to follow laws religiously and never in any circumstances, allow mob law to assume control, even if the laws are unjust. Lincoln presents that bad laws, although being unjust, should still be followed and their removal should be done through a legal process, “But I do mean to say that although bad laws, if they exist, should be repealed as soon as possible, still they continue in force, for the sake of example they should be religiously observed.” Lincoln expresses that no matter your position on slavery, mob law should never be followed, “the promulgation of abolitionism, one of the two positions is necessarily true–that is, the thing is right within itself, and therefore deserves the protection of all law and all good citizens, or, it is wrong, and therefore proper to be prohibited by legal enactments; and in neither case is the interposition of mob law either necessary, justifiable, or excusable.” Lincoln’s speech uses Ethos, an appeal to ethics, to persuade his audience to respect laws. In contrary Henry David Thoreau, an American essayist, poet, philosopher, and abolitionist, believed that slavery should be ended without delay. In his essay, “Civil Disobedience”, written in 1849, calls for unjust laws to be actively disobeyed. “If there is a law that is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law.” His use of pathos, an appeal to emotion, made his message of disobedience wildly popular with Abolitionists during that time. While the Civil War only occurred in 1861, the Anti-Slavery in america played an existential role in American during the early 1800s. The factors that made this importance being, the strong dependence of slavery in the south, the Anti-Slavery movements appearing in the United States and most importantly, the eventual emergence of the Abolitionist movement.