You are here:

U.S. History/What were pro slavery people called?


What were pro slavery people called? I think it should be antibolitionist, but my history teacher doesn't agree. If it isn't antibolitionist, then what would you call someone who was for slavery during the abolition time period

Hi Nathan,

You have to remember that before the war, the term "abolitionist" was an extremist term.  There were many people who were generally anti-slavery who did not consider themselves abolitionists, Abraham Lincoln among them.  Abolitionists were radicals who generally demanded immediate and complete abolition of slavery.  Many others opposed slavery but thought that the institution of slavery had to be phased out slowly, or limited from expanding.

The most extreme pro-slavery people were known as "fire-eaters".  This is not a perfect answer since the fire-eaters were not only strongly pro-slavery but were also strongly in favor of secession.  But I would consider this group probably the best defined group to be opposite the abolitionists.

I hope this helps!
- Mike  

U.S. History

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Michael Troy


I can answer just about any question on early American History. My specialties are the American Revolution through the Civil War/Reconstruction. I also have greater expertise in matters relating to military, political or legal history.


I have lectured at George Washington University regarding the Civil War, as well as several elementary school Civil War demonstrations. I was also a member of a Civil War reenactment group for about 10 years.


J.D. University of Michigan B.A. George Washington University

Awards and Honors
Truman Scholar

©2017 All rights reserved.