There were many reasons that led up to the American Reform Movement. The Antebellum period was categorized by the rise of abolition, which is the act of putting an end to slavery, and by the difference of opinions in the idea of abolition. Also, the country’s economy began changing due to the North starting to manufacture goods, because of the Industrial Revolution. Also, the South started to make a huge shift in the economy because of the numerous amounts of cotton that was being introduced.
According to Document H, “No man can put a chain about the ankle of his fellow man without at last finding the other end fastened about his own neck. – Frederick Douglass, Civil Rights Mass Meeting, Washington, D. C. (22 October 1883). I believe that this quote means that you can’t make something yours, make it do whatever you want, and not take responsibility for the action you’re making it do. In Document E, it is a photo of Dorothea Dix, who was a religious teacher inspired by great ideas, and led efforts to improve treatments to the mentally ill.
She began acting like this and helping the mentally ill because she saw how they were treated in a Massachusetts prison. Document I shows that the kids that were naughty got put in a juvenile home, so they could start to behave themselves, and it was like a rehab center. The temperance movement was reform efforts to limit the consumption of alcohol. As shown in Document A, around 1840, in the antebellum period, the annual consumption of alcohol contained in all alcoholic beverages per capita in US gallons was 1 gallon, when in 1830 it was nearly 4 gallons.
In Document F, it says “What the bottle does” with a picture of a whiskey bottle. That is because you can’t help what you do after you drink alcohol, the bottle/drink decides what you do. The women’s rights movement, showed in Documents B and D shows the women should have equal rights as men, such as equal pay. The women’s rights movement was a movement that demanded equal rights as men. Women’s rights activists demanded all men got, including full control over their body, the right to vote, equal pay, and wished to be first class citizens.
Also, women got denied jobs, because those jobs could only go to men according to the government. So women got minimal job opportunities. Two major women’s rights activists were Lucretia Mott, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. These two were also abolitionists who became the leading active supporters of the movement. Stanton and Mott were denied the right to vote, and they remained second class citizens. They had less access to education than men, and they were sick of that. As shown in Document B, it says “Women Bring all voters into the world – let women vote.
I believe that this quote mean that women’s votes matter, so they should let women vote, because women are people just like men, and even if the majority of the population is men, the small population of women could make a huge difference. Also, another big influential women in this movement was Carrie Chapman Catt. She was a Women’s suffragist, and peace activist, and she was in the National American Women’s Suffrage Association. Also, she founded the National League of Women Voters. The first women’s rights convention was the Seneca Falls Convention, which marked the birth of the movement in the United States.
The convention had a document that was in the Declaration of Independence that read; ‘We hold these truths to be self evident: that all men and women are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights…. Now, … because women do feel themselves aggrieved, oppressed, and fraudulently deprived of their most sacred rights, we insist that they have immediate admission to all the rights and privileges which belong to them as citizens of the United States. ” (Pg. 298 in textbook) This is basically stating that women are independent and could do what they want with full right to do it.
All of these women’s work and heart put into this movement payed off because it persuaded the government that everyone was equal, and what they thought was stupid, and so they got their rights. Slavery was a huge problem in the 1800’s. Many people tried to stop it, people tried everything from making abolitionist societies to escaping the land. Many northern states abolished slavery in the early 1800’s, so every negro in the north, didn’t have to be a slave, but on the other hand, in the south, it was legal to own slaves. Due to that, many slaves in the south tried to escape to the north, in order to be free from slavery.
Not many made it, but one did and she made a huge impact. Her name was Harriet Tubman. She was an African American escaped slave from the south, then returned to the south to help other slaves escape. As it said in Document H, which I quoted in the first paragraph, you cannot own a slave without taking responsibility over him or her. Frederick Douglass was a fugitive slave from Maryland. He was one of the fist slaves to run away, then talk to the public about it. He was about abolition, and his speakings to the public influenced many people to join the abolition.
He also partnered with a newspaper, the North Star, which was renamed to Frederick Douglass’s Paper. When it was published, it won over many people to support the abolition also. All of this led to the Emancipation proclamation, where Abraham Lincoln signed off the abolition of slavery, so all of those things led to slavery ending. The civil war was between the eleven states in the south that were for slavery, and the rest of the states, who did not want slavery. In the antebellum period, slavery was a huge factor, and that was a major cause of the Civil War.
After the civil war, slavery was abolished, and that is what we are seeing in modern day America, equality and no slaves. The Temperance movement was a movement that led to the limit of consumption of alcohol. As shown in Document A, around 1840, in the antebellum period, the annual consumption of alcohol contained in all alcoholic beverages per capita in US gallons was 1 gallon, when in 1830 it was nearly 4 gallons. The Temperance movement made a huge difference on alcohol and so on. Before this movement, the drinking led to bad things, such as mental illnesses, poverty, and even crime.
In motional sermons, they persuaded people to give up drinking, because it will save their soul. People supported this movement so much, some people destroyed liquor stocks. The Temperance movement ended up spreading to 9 states because it has such an effect on people. Document Fshows a propaganda poster on the Temperance movement, it says; “What the bottle does”and what alcohol could do to you. It is a picture of a whiskey bottle and shows what bads things it can do to you. The message is it’s saying that you have no control over yourself after you drink alcohol, the alcohol controls you.
The asylum reforms were where they built institutes for the mentally ill. A big contributor in this was Dorothea Dix. She once saw mentally ill people in Massachusetts getting beaten and treated awfully, so she tried to help them. She came up with many treatments for them. Her and the reformers believed that they can turn these people’s lives around with these institutes and treatments. Also, Dix wrote a factual information to the Legislators of Massachusetts saying how they need to build more institutes, and treat these people with more respect, and more humanely.
When she went to the institutes and jails, she saw that the ill ere kept in cages, closets, cellars, pens, stalls, and they even kept them naked, and beaten. The Antebellum period was characterized by the rise of abolition, which is the act of putting an end to slavery, and by the difference of opinions about being for abolition, and being for slavery. This period was a huge period in the United States’ past history, due to its pros, and cons. All of what happened back then, influenced us tremendously about how the way we lives our lives today.
All of these events led up to the civil war because America couldn’t get their minds made up from slavery to women’s rights. The world has changed tremendously since the antebellum period, because if we had “a slave” in modern day, we would be thrown in jail and be called racist, but if we had a slave back then, it would be totally acceptable. So, all that has happened throughout America ended up good between women’s rights, alcohol consumption, no slavery, and all the mental hospitals and treatments we have today for the mentally ill. Also, everyone is equal now which is the best thing that came out of this antebellum period.