What major conclusions can you derive in regard to the significance of the Amistad Case?
In 1839, in waters off the coast of Cuba, a group of forty-nine Africans ensnared in the Atlantic slave trade struck out for freedom. They had been captured, sold into slavery, carried across the ocean, sold again, and they were being transported on what was, for millions of Africans, the last leg of the slave trade when they found the chance to seize the initiative. One of them, a man the world would come to know as "Cinque," worked free of his chains and led a shipboard revolt. The vessel they won was a schooner that had been named, in a grim bit of irony, the Amistad ("Friendship"). The Africans tried to force two Cuban survivors to sail them back to Africa, but the Amistad wound up instead in U.S. waters, just past Long Island Sound, where the Africans were again taken into custody. Spain promptly demanded their extradition to face trial in Cuba for piracy and murder, but their plight caught the attention of American abolitionists, who mounted a legal defense on the Africans' behalf. The case went through the American judicial system all the way up to the Supreme Court. The Amistad Case became one of the most important slavery cases that the nation had ever seen. A case that would not only bring different anti-slavery groups together, but a case that would prove to be a corner stone in the fight against slavery. It would prove to be a case that would have many influential people step in or try to, including the president of the U.S., martin Van Buren, and a former president, John Quincy Adams. Both cases were strong and provable, but it would be the Supreme Court that would have the final decision to free the slaves.
The Amistad Case was one of the only times when three main groups of abolitionists came together to form one group in the fight against slavery. "Moral Suasion,” was one of the main groups that used graphic illu...
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