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[62]

Chapter 8: Garrison the non-resistant

Oh, it is excellent
To have a giant's strength; but it is tyrannous
To use it like a giant.

Shakspere, Measure for measure.

It is not without reason that I am treating Garrison as primarily a non-resistant, and only secondarily as an Abolitionist; for it was only by chance that his attention was turned to the abolition of slavery, while his instinctive dislike of coercion and love of freedom were wider and earlier. They accounted for his condemnation of war, and they would have led him in his youth to take the side of liberty in any conflict which the condition of the times might have forced upon him. Garrison recognized fully the profounder claims of non-resistance and the fact that the abolition of slavery was a mere episode in its history. The coercion of man by man was the root of slavery, and it is also the root of a thousand other ills. Between nations it means war and conquest and imperialism and international misunderstandings and hatreds

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William Lloyd Garrison (3)
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