American Infidelity

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American Infidelity is the name of a speech that was delivered in Congress by Joshua Giddings in February 1858. This speech was one of many congressional speeches intended to arouse passion about the immorality of slavery. It also reflects the rising Republican radical movement of the time, which was at the forefront of the anti-slavery movement. In this speech, Giddings said that religion and slavery are incompatible. Slavery is like murder, because to deny a human his freedom is to deny him his life. Giddings consequently alleged that all opponents of the Republican Party were infidels.[citation needed]

William Lloyd Garrison was so supportive of this speech that he wrote an appreciatory letter to Congressman Giddings before reprinting the entire speech in his newspaper, the Liberator.[1]


  1. ^ Foner, Eric. Free Soil, Free Labor, Free Men: The Ideology of the Republican Party before the Civil War, New York: Oxford University Press, 1970. ISBN 0-19-509497-2