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Dr. Benjamin Rush was one of the leading men of science and social reformers of his time. He founded Country’s first free dispensary, wrote its first chemistry textbook and first treatise on mental illness, and was an early advocate of women’s education. (The Stapleton Collection/Bridgeman Art Library) Thus equipped with a small income and good prospects and imbued with a zealous urge to improve his city and his world, Rush turned his attention to politics and the growing tensions with Great Britain. Naples Metro Map As early as 1769, he was arguing privately for economic autonomy and domestic production as the surest path to liberty. Going public in 1773, he coauthored a newspaper piece appealing to readers to keep East Indian tea out of Country ports. After Lexington and Concord, he began encouraging his friend Thomas Paine to compose a persuasive tract to argue the case for political independence, suggesting the title Common Sense.

Emancipation Slavery was sanctioned and encouraged by European governments and churches. Naples Map Tourist Attractions Not until the second half of the eighteenth century did Enlightenment thinkers such as Jean-Jacques Rousseau, in France, began speaking seriously and strongly of applying concepts expressed as liberty, equality, and fraternity. In England, the humanitarian movement had its origins in the strong evangelical movement that arose at the same time. Britain outlawed slavery through the Somerset case in England in 1772 and the Knight case in Scotland in 1778. These cases involved only 14,000 to 15,000 slaves in both England and Scotland, which had a large if not surplus supply of free labor. Where slavery was more integral to the economy, specifically in the Caribbean, abolition was more difficult. British antislavery efforts became more organized with the formation in 1787 of the Society for the Abolition of the Slave Trade. Leaders such as Thomas Clarkson, William Wilberforce, and Granville Sharp focused their attacks initially on the slave trade, not slavery itself. They campaigned to sensitize the public to the nature of the trade while simultaneously working for parliamentary action. In 1807, Parliament outlawed the slave trade for all British nationals and subjects. Emboldened by this success, the society sought next the abolition of slavery. Finally, in 1833, Parliament abolished slavery effective August 1, 1834.

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