For thousands of years, slavery went unchallenged in principle. Then in a single century, slavery was abolished and more than seven million slaves were freed. The scope and speed of this transformation makes it one of the most amazing feats in modern history.
– blurb for Jim Powell, Greatest Emancipations: How the West Abolished Slavery
I haven’t read Powell’s book, but this quotation (along with the fact that, in most of the western world, abolition was accomplished without much violence, the American South being an outlier) should give today’s abolitionists reason for hope whenever the task of doing away with the state seems overwhelming.