The abolitionists were people who took action against slavery. They actually made a change and brought attention to this problem.
Uncle Tom's Cabin
This was a book written by an abolitionist named Harriet Beecher Stowe. This was the second best selling book in the world besides the bible.
When Kansas and Nebraska were added to the USA, they had to decide whether these new territories would be pro slavery or anti slavery. Violence broke out because of this which lead to a historical event called "Bleeding Kansas".
The Election of 1860
This election was when President Abraham Lincoln became president. He was not considered an abolitionist although he was against the spread of slavery. The south were afraid he would take away slavery.
South Carolina Secedes
This closely followed after the election of 1860. They didn't feel that they were being represented by the government. So they wanted to secede from the north and begin their own country.
The Creation of the Confederate States
This followed after SC seceded. They wanted to become a different country from the North so they were better represented. They got a new president and even wrote their own Constitution.