Antebellum Era Essay Questions

Antebellum Era Essay Questions-60
In May 1837, members of an array of reform organizations descended on New York City to hold their annual “Anniversary” meetings.Their leaders proclaimed crime, poverty, prostitution, alcohol, ignorance, or slavery as the death knell of the family and the republic, and demanded change.

In May 1837, members of an array of reform organizations descended on New York City to hold their annual “Anniversary” meetings.Their leaders proclaimed crime, poverty, prostitution, alcohol, ignorance, or slavery as the death knell of the family and the republic, and demanded change.

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Following the invention of the cotton gin the southern economy was transformed into one of slave plantations for the production of cotton.

That condition in the south led to a growing sense of alienation between that portion of the country and the northern areas.

By the mid-1830s, an array of antislavery groups had come together under the umbrella of the Garrison-led American Anti-Slavery Society (AASS).

The AASS advocated rights for free blacks as well as immediate abolition and viewed churches and the government as supporters of the slave system.

In addition, reformers changed their views and strategies over time, and carried ideas from one movement into others.

The AASS divided at its 1839 Anniversary meeting over a variety of issues, including the role of women.The debates and divisions among reform organizations have often been viewed as hindering efforts at social change.It is likely, however, that the array of issues, strategies, and organizational styles attracted more advocates for reform than any single issue or approach could have.Some began as local benevolent or missionary groups; many members of these organizations eventually turned their energy to temperance or prison reform in an effort to address the root causes of poverty and irreligion.By the 1830s, most sought to increase their clout by forming national organizations.In the same period, another group of AASS stalwarts helped establish the woman’s rights movement.Its first convention, held at Seneca Falls, New York, in 1848, attracted many abolitionists, but also advocates of moral reform, temperance, peace, religious reform, and married women’s property rights.The fact that slavery still existed in 15 states was a huge factor in the difference between North and South, but the differences in the two economies led to secondary issues.There is no escaping the fact is slavery was the overriding issue of contention between the two sections of the country.Still, they joined in believing that the United States could be improved, uplifted, perhaps even perfected.It was a difficult year: a financial panic had erupted earlier in 1837 that threatened the work of many reform organizations as wealthy supporters declared bankruptcy, and middle-class advocates cut donations.


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