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By the mid 1800s, America was a nation. But much of the had been made on the backs of . The system, particularly in the South, had become increasingly , and the of it ate away at the heart of the country.
After waging with England for and , some people believed it was to deny to . had served in and were petitioning for . White societies agitated for and by 1804, convinced Northern States to gradually phase out the practice. But the South resisted. Their thriving was dependent on . Stirred by agitation among black and a zealous movement by , grew. Some activists wanted a gradual end to , others began to take risks.