Antebellum Reform



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Antebellum Reform

Several historic reform movements began in the period, before the Civil War started in 1861, known as the antebellum period. During this time, a diverse mix of reformers dedicated themselves to a variety of causes. The enthusiasm for reform had multiple causes along with both immediate and long-term consequences on the United States.

The goal in this lesson is to not only identify the various reform efforts through a process of sorting and categorization, but to examine the causes and assess the effects of the antebellum reform movement.

Directions: Compare the following identifications to sort the terms into a minimum of FOUR specific categories. Create a word or short phrase to classify each category. Go beyond basic categories such as social, political, economic, or groups, people, and things. Be specific.


  1. American Antislavery Society

  2. American Colonization Society

  3. American Temperance Society

  4. asylums

  5. Baptists and Methodists

  6. Bible Belt

  7. Brook Farm

  8. Charles G. Finney

  9. communal societies

  10. Cult of Domesticity

  11. Declaration of Sentiments

  12. Dorothea Dix

  13. Elizabeth Cady Stanton

  14. Frederick Douglass

  15. Harriet Tubman

  16. Henry David Thoreau

  17. Herman Melville

  18. Higher Education (college)

  19. Horace Mann

  20. Hudson River School

  21. James Fenimore Cooper

  22. Liberty Party

  23. Lucretia Mott

  24. Mormons

  25. Nathaniel Hawthorne

  26. “On Civil Disobedience”

  27. Oneida Community

  28. prison

  29. Public (common) vs. Private schools

  30. Ralph Waldo Emerson

  31. Republican Motherhood

  32. Sarah and Angelina Grimke

  33. Second Great Awakening

  34. Seneca Falls

  35. Shakers

  36. Sojourner Truth

  37. Susan B. Anthony

  38. Timothy Dwight

  39. Transcendentalists

  40. utopian communities

  41. Washington Irving

  42. William Lloyd Garrison



Antebellum Reform (TEACHER KEY)

Several historic reform movements began in the period, before the Civil War started in 1861, known as the antebellum period. During this time, a diverse mix of reformers dedicated themselves to a variety of causes. The enthusiasm for reform had multiple causes along with both immediate and long-term consequences on the United States.



The goal in this lesson is to not only identify the various reform efforts through a process of sorting and categorization, but to examine the causes and assess the effects of the antebellum reform movement.

RELIGION

Religious revivalism swept through the U.S. during the early 19th century partly as a reaction against rationalism associated with Enlightenment and the traditional teachings of original sin and predestination. The religious reforms resulted in new religious divisions, provided community organization and leadership represented the democratization of American society in the early years of the century.



  1. Second Great Awakening

  2. Timothy Dwight

  3. Charles G. Finney

  4. Baptists and Methodists

  5. Mormons

  6. Bible Belt



CULTURAL (Ideas, Arts, and Literature)

As European thinkers, artists, and writers shifted away from the concepts of balance, order, and reason they turned toward feelings, the study of nature, and heroism. The new movement of romanticism also took hold in the unique experience of America. The cultural reforms of the early 1800s challenged materialism and capitalism, called for a withdrawal from conventional society, and helped to shape a distinctive American culture.



  1. Transcendentalists

  2. Ralph Waldo Emerson

  3. Henry David Thoreau

  4. “On Civil Disobedience”

  5. Brook Farm

  6. communal societies

  7. utopian communities

  8. Shakers

  9. Oneida Community

  10. Hudson River School

  11. Washington Irving

  12. James Fenimore Cooper

  13. Nathaniel Hawthorne

  14. Herman Melville



WOMEN’S RIGHTS / FAMILY ROLES

Largely as a result of early industrialization and urbanization gender and family roles were redefined. Affluence, innovation, and birth control created more leisure time for women. In the antebellum period women’s rights activists worked to change the role of women in society to obtain greater agency, equality, and a political voice.



  1. Cult of Domesticity

  2. Republican Motherhood

  3. Sarah and Angelina Grimke

  4. Lucretia Mott

  5. Elizabeth Cady Stanton

  6. Susan B. Anthony

  7. Seneca Falls

  8. Declaration of Sentiments



MORAL REFORM / INSTITUTIONAL

An increase in crime, poverty, illness, and social ills in the early 19th century caused reason for concern among some who saw American morality and behavior on the decline. Moral reformers use political means and created public institutions in order to regulate behavior, provide support, and alleviate suffering in American society.

  1. American Temperance Society

  2. asylums

  3. Dorothea Dix

  4. prison

  5. Horace Mann

  6. Public (common) vs. Private schools

  7. Higher Education (college)

ABOLITION

While supporters argued on behalf of slavery, opposition grew in an attempt to make the nation realize its founding ideals of equality, freedom, and opportunity. Abolitionists ranged from moderates who proposed gradual abolition to radicals who demanded immediate abolition without compensation. The various efforts of Abolitionists would pave the way towards the Civil War and the eventual end of slavery.

  1. American Colonization Society

  2. American Antislavery Society

  3. William Lloyd Garrison

  4. Liberty Party

  5. Frederick Douglass

  6. Sojourner Truth

  7. Harriet Tubman

CAUSES

  • puritan mission to be a “city upon a hill”

  • Enlightenment beliefs in human goodness

  • Increasing democratization of the Jeffersonian and Jacksonian Eras

  • Changing gender roles and relationships

  • Demographic shifts / increasing diversity

  • New territories and the spread of the population

  • Crime, poverty, illness, social ills

  • Industrialization and urbanization

BIG PICTURE CONNECTIONS

  • reform efforts largely a northern and western movement towards modernization

  • less so in the South who was committed to its tradition

  • larger struggle to define and realize American identity, idealism, values, etc.

QUESTION TO THINK ABOUT: What motivated reformers? What were the intentions of antebellum reformers?

  • historical Perspectives

  • Alice Tyler writing in 1944 towards the conclusion of WW II, “Freedoms Ferment” = argued that they were idealistic humanitarians with the goal of helping to create a more just and equitable society

  • Others argue that reformers were mostly upper/middle class individuals/groups that hoped to control the masses and to “Americanize” the poor/immigrants/natives/ etc/


Short Answer Question = Antebellum Reform

  1. Chose one of the Antebellum reforms listed below;

      • Cultural (ideas, arts, and literature)

      • Antislavery

      • Religious Revivalism

      • Women’s Rights / Family Roles

      • Moral Reform



    1. Briefly explain the conditions in American society prior to the Civil War that caused the need for the type of reform your selected.



    1. Describe and explain a specific historical example from 1800 to 1860 that demonstrates the type of reform your selected.



    1. Briefly explain the effect of the specific reform you selected.




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