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American Colonization Society Thesis

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Updated: Jul 23rd, 2022

American Colonization Society was a movement in America that was founded by Henry Clay, John Randolph and Richard Bland Lee with an aim of freeing black people from slavery (Yarema, 2006). According to Robert Finley one of the members of the ACS, the black people would never be fully integrated into the American society. Taking black people back to “the land of their fathers,” would be the best solution (Yarema, 2006). This paper will discuss the history and origin of the American colonization society. In addition, the paper will discuss the strategies used by the movement and reasons behind the fall of this group.

The American colonization society was founded in the year 1816 (Yarema, 2006). This group was the primary vehicle that promoted the return of free black African Americans to Africa. In December 1816, the movement officially established and launched its activities in Washington (Yarema, 2006). The founders of the movement wanted to satisfy two different groups in America. One group consisted of abolitionist and philanthropists who wanted the African slaves to be freed back to Africa (Finkenbine, 2004).

On the other hand, the other group consisted of American slave owners who did not like black people and they wanted to expel them from America (Finkenbine, 2004). Because many people believed that black people could not be assimilated in the American society, the movement became popular and received a lot of support (Zinn, 2005). When the group gained enough support, the movement began strategizing how they would execute their plan to free black people from America to Africa.

Foremost, the movement did fundraising to acquire enough resources and power to accomplish its mission. In fact, the group received $ 100,000 from the US congress to facilitate transportation process (Zinn, 2005). After sometime, the movement also received more money from the US administration to promote their plan. With the funds, the American colonization society paid passage for the black people to Liberia (Yarema, 2006). In addition to this, the group sought for presidential support concerning the matter and president Lincoln Abraham advocated for activities of the ACS (Zinn, 2005). During the next two decades, the colony established economical power and the ACS employed white people to administer the group (Finkenbine, 2004).

Despite the efforts to free black people, some of black people already considered themselves as Americans causing resistance. However, the movement made some efforts and transported about 4 million people to Africa. The ACS was not very successful due to numerous challenges. Foremost, there was strong opposition and resistance from some of the black people (Hine, Hine and Harrold, 2009).

Secondly, a lot of resources and money was needed to facilitate the process of moving black people to Africa (Yarema, 2006). The number was big (about 4 million) and there was no enough money to facilitate this process. Lastly, the group experienced difficulties in finding appropriate place or location to take the black people. In fact, no African community was ready and willing to accept large numbers of black newcomers (Yarema, 2006).

In conclusion, the main goals of the American Colonization Society were to free Africans from slavery and return them to Africa. The movement used different strategies including fundraising and seeking political support to achieve its objective. However, the American Colonization Society was not successful in its mission due to resistance from freed Africans, high costs of relocation and lack of locations in Africa to settle freed Africans (Yarema, 2006).

Reference List

Finkenbine, R. (2004). Sources of the African American past: Primary sources in American history. (2nd ed.). New York: Prentice Hall.

Hine, D., Hine, W., & Harrold, S. (2009). African Americans: A concise history. (3rd ed.). New York: Prentice Hall.

Yarema, A. (2006). American Colonization Society: An avenue for freedom? Lanham: University Press of America

Zinn, H. (2005). A people’s history of the United States: 1492-present. New York: Harper Perennial.

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