Social and Personal Responsibility in the Movement

Numerous movements existed throughout the history of the U.S.A. starting as chaotic riots. Initially, people were never aware of the responsibility they bear. With the development of social order, more and more documents were issued to regulate and legalize one’s actions. Additionally, individuals have become more aware of why they act in a certain way. Hence, this paper aims to differentiate between social and personal responsibility of individuals involved in a movement.

Social responsibility is responsibility to people and promises (obligations) given to them. This is the most common understanding of accountability, and when strictly considered, any other types are a form of social responsibility. They can choose the role itself, but by choosing it, they are obliged to subordinate oneself to its functionality in the present and future. Therefore, social responsibility can also be called role liability.

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When it comes to participating in the movement, it is vital to view how it shapes social and personal responsibility. For instance, Abolitionism was the social movement in the U.S.A. and Latin America in the 18th and 19th centuries for the elimination of black slavery on plantations (Abolition). The basis of abolitionism in the United States was the moral condemnation of slavery, the mobilization of public opinion against it. The participants of the movement were held accountable for their actions both socially and personally.

For instance, when viewing the abolitionists from the perspective of social responsibility, it can be claimed that individuals united together for the common good – slavery elimination. The abolitionists, despite the fact that they kept aloof from practical politics, through vigorous and principled agitation exerted an extremely important influence on the development of free institutions in the United States. They managed to make the Abraham Lincoln to abolish slavery in 1861 (Lincoln). Ultimately, the social responsibility in this movement presumed fighting for people’s well-being and freedom which were considered

What is more, there is also a sense of personal responsibility which is a vision of one’s capabilities and the awareness of one’s desire to be accountable of anything. It is an inner sight, understanding and experience that some things need to be done, and one has to do it. This is the willingness to hold accountable of their actions, decisions, the consequences of decisions, as well as for the actions of dependent people. In case of abolitionists, individuals were also personally accountable for their actions. Abolitionists were ready to fight for black people rights because they thought it was immoral to deprive someone of what they were granted from birth – freedom (Abolition). The participants realized how immoral it was to keep humans enslaved. Hence, they decided to take this personal responsibility and stop the violence, fully relying on their moral views.

The basis of a person’s responsibility is their author’s position, self-confidence, the conviction that everything that happens depends primarily on themselves and their actions, and not on people or external circumstances. For example, Nat Turner explained that leading a rebellion against slavery was a matter of his own position, rooted in childhood (1). He claimed that he witnessed the inequality back in the days while playing in the playground. This observation caused him to take on personal responsibility to fight the slavery and its devastating impact.

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In conclusion, social and personal responsibilities are found in people’s actions when they are involved in a movement. The social liability presumes uniting with individuals with similar interests for realizing the societal good, whereas personal accountability stands for general understanding of one’s actions and their possible consequences. Within the Abolitionism movement, individuals strived to eliminate slavery, whilst taking actions and being aware of their moral underpinnings.

Works Cited

“Abolition.” Digital History, Web.

Lincoln, Abraham. “Inaugural Address of Abraham Lincoln.” 1861. Digital History, Web.

Turner, Nat. “Nat Turner Explains Why He Led His Insurrection.” 1831. Digital History, Web.

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