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In the early 19th century, a reform movement emerged to end what reformers saw as a moral stain on the nation—slavery. These reformers—the abolitionists—struggled against powerful political and economic interests and widespread racism. While today abolitionists are regarded as heroes who stood up against an unjust system, Americans in the 19th century saw them as dangerous radicals. Southerners were outraged that anyone questioned slavery. Because many Northerners believed in the supremacy of the white race and feared that African Americans would compete with them for jobs, they rejected the abolition cause as well. Only with time did the argument to end slavery gain much support i