Abolitionists believed that the institution of slavery should be abolished and that society should be integrated regardless of color. The movement erupted when it was embraced by Christian churches in the early part of the 19th century.
Although slavery had been an issue with many detractors since before the colonies had declared their independence from Great Britain, it wasn't until the spread of industrialism in the North shed light on the societal problems that resulted from urbanization. Some churches grasped these issues and began spreading ideas about how to help people lead godly lives by ridding society of those things that were sinful.
The American Anti-Slavery movement was formed in 1833, and slavery was declared a sin. Through the spread of literature, the movement gained national attention, and slavery became an intensely debated national issue despite the fact that Congress passed a gag rule that prevented the introduction of anti-slavery bills for consideration. The Underground Railroad was established by abolitionists as a way of smuggling slaves traveling north in search of freedom. Eventually, with the help of abolitionists, the 13th Amendment was passed, which banned slavery. The abolitionist movement was also responsible for the women's rights movement, as leading abolitionists also began eventually campaigning for women's rights as well.