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An Age of Reform, 1820–1840 Norton Media Library Chapter 12 Eric Foner

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1 An Age of Reform, 1820–1840 Norton Media Library Chapter 12 Eric Foner

2 I. Abby Kelley

3 II. The Reform Impulse Utopian Communities The Shakers
About 100 reform communities were established in the decades before the Civil War Nearly all the communities set out to reorganize society on a cooperative basis, hoping to restore social harmony to a world of excessive individualism, and to narrow the widening gap between rich and poor Socialism and communism entered the language The Shakers The Shakers were the most successful of the religious communities and had a significant impact on the outside world Shakers believed men and women were spiritually equal They abandoned private property and traditional family life celibacy

4 II. The Reform Impulse (con’t)
Oneida The founder of Oneida, John Noyes, preached that he and his followers had become so perfect that they had achieved a state of complete “purity of heart,” or sinlessness Noyes and followers abandoned private property and traditional family life complex marriage Oneida was an extremely dictatorial environment Worldly Communities New England transcendentalists established Brook Farm to demonstrate that manual and intellectual labor could coexist harmoniously Although it was an exciting miniature university, Brook Farm failed in part because many intellectuals disliked farm labor

5 II. The Reform Impulse (con’t)
The Owenites The most important secular communitarian was Robert Owen Owen promoted communitarianism as a peaceful means of ensuring that workers received the full value of their labor At New Harmony, Owen championed women’s rights and education Other short-lived secular communities included those established by Joseph Warren

6 II. The Reform Impulse (con’t)
Religion and Reform Some reform movements drew their inspiration from the religious revivalism of the Second Great Awakening The revivals popularized the outlook known as “perfectionism,” which saw both individuals and society at large as capable of indefinite improvement Under the impact of the revivals, older reform efforts moved in a new, radical direction prohibition, pacifism, and abolition

7 II. The Reform Impulse (con’t)
Reform and Its Critics To members of the North’s emerging middle-class culture, reform became a badge of respectability Many Americans saw the reform impulse as an attack on their own freedom Drinking was a hotly debated issue Catholics rallied against the temperance movement Reformers and Freedom The vision of freedom expressed by the reform movements was liberating and controlling at the same time

8 II. The Reform Impulse (con’t)
The Invention of the Asylum Americans embarked on a program of institution building jails poorhouses asylums orphanages These institutions were inspired by the conviction that those who passed through their doors could eventually be released to become productive, self-disciplined citizens

9 II. The Reform Impulse (con’t)
The Common School A tax-supported state public school system was widely adopted Horace Mann was the era’s leading educational reformer Mann believed that education would “equalize the conditions of men” Avenue for social advancement Opportunity for character building Common schools provided career opportunities for women, but widened the divide between North and South

10 III. The Crusade Against Slavery
Colonization The American Colonization Society promoted the gradual abolition of slavery and the settlement of black Americans in Africa Liberia Like Indian removal, colonization rested on the premise that America was fundamentally a white society Most African-Americans adamantly opposed the idea of colonization Insisted that blacks were Americans, entitled to the same rights enjoyed by whites

11 III. The Crusade Against Slavery (con’t)
Militant Abolitionism A new generation of reformers demanded immediate abolition Believed that slavery was both sinful and a violation of the Declaration of Independence David Walker’s An Appeal to the Coloured Citizens of the World was a passionate indictment of slavery and racial prejudice

12 III. The Crusade Against Slavery (con’t)
The Emergence of Garrison The appearance in 1831 of The Liberator, William Lloyd Garrison’s weekly journal published in Boston, gave the new type of abolitionism a permanent voice Some of Garrison’s ideas were too radical, but his call for immediate abolition was echoed by many Garrison rejected colonization Spreading the Abolitionist Message Abolitionists recognized the democratic potential in the production of printed material Theodore Weld helped to create the abolitionists’ mass constituency

13 III. The Crusade Against Slavery (con’t)
He used the methods of the religious revivals and said slavery was a sin Identifying slavery as a sin was essential to replacing the traditional strategies of gradual emancipation and colonization with immediate abolition Nearly all abolitionists, despite their militant language, rejected violence as a means of ending slavery Abolitionists and the Idea of Freedom Abolitionists repudiated the idea of “wage slavery” popularized by the era’s labor movement Only slavery deprived human beings of their “grand central right— the inherent right of self-ownership”

14 III. The Crusade Against Slavery (con’t)
A New Vision of America The antislavery movement sought to reinvigorate the idea of freedom as a truly universal entitlement Insisted that blacks were fellow countrymen, not foreigners or a permanently inferior caste Abolitionists disagreed over the usefulness of the Constitution Abolitionists consciously identified their movement with the revolutionary heritage The Liberty Bell

15 IV. Black and White Abolitionism
Black Abolitionists From its inception, blacks played a leading role in the antislavery movement Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin gave the abolitionist message a powerful human appeal Although the movement was racially integrated, whites relegated blacks to secondary positions Abolitionists launched legal and political battles against racial discrimination in the North Black abolitionists developed an understanding of freedom that went well beyond the usage of most of their white contemporaries Attacked the intellectual foundations of racism

16 IV. Black and White Abolitionism (con’t)
Liberty and Slavery At every opportunity, black abolitionists rejected the nation’s pretensions as a land of liberty Black abolitionists articulated the ideal of color-blind citizenship Frederick Douglass on the Fourth of July Slavery and Civil Liberties Abolitionism aroused violent hostility from northerners who feared that the movement threatened to disrupt the Union, interfere with profits wrested from slave labor, and overturn white supremacy

17 IV. Black and White Abolitionism (con’t)
Editor Elijah Lovejoy was killed by a mob while defending his press Mob attacks and attempts to limit abolitionists’ freedom of speech convinced many northerners that slavery was incompatible with the democratic liberties of white Americans The fight for the right to debate slavery openly and without reprisal led abolitionists to elevate “free opinion” to a central place in what Garrison called the “gospel of freedom”

18 V. The Origins of Feminism
The Rise of the Public Woman Women were instrumental in the abolition movement The public sphere was open to women in ways government and party politics were not Women and Free Speech Women lectured in public about abolition Grimké sisters Frances Wright Maria Stewart

19 V. The Origins of Feminism (con’t)
The Grimké sisters argued against the idea that taking part in assemblies, demonstrations, and lectures was unfeminine Letters on the Equality of the Sexes (1838) equal pay for equal work Women’s Rights Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott organized the Seneca Falls Convention of 1848 Raised the issue of women’s suffrage for the first time The Declaration of Sentiments condemned the entire structure of inequality

20 V. The Origins of Feminism (con’t)
Feminism and Freedom Lacking broad backing at home, early feminists found allies abroad Women deserved the range of individual choices, the possibility of self-realization, that constituted the essence of freedom Margaret Fuller sought to apply to women the transcendentalist idea that freedom meant a quest for personal development

21 V. The Origins of Feminism (con’t)
Women and Work The participants at Seneca Falls rejected the identification of the home as women’s “sphere” the “bloomer” costume The movement posed a fundamental challenge to some of their society’s central beliefs The Slavery of Sex The concept of the “slavery of sex” empowered the women’s movement to develop an all-encompassing critique of male authority and their own subordination Marriage and slavery became a powerful rhetorical tool for feminists

22 V. The Origins of Feminism (con’t)
“Social Freedom” The demand that women should enjoy the rights to regulate their own sexual activity and procreation and to be protected by the state against violence at the hands of their husbands challenged the notion that claims to justice, freedom, and individual rights should stop at the household’s door The issue of women’s private freedom revealed underlying differences within the movement for women’s rights

23 V. The Origins of Feminism (con’t)
The Abolitionist Schism When organized abolitionism split into two branches in 1840, the immediate cause was a dispute over the proper role of women in antislavery work American Antislavery Society American and Foreign Antislavery Society The Liberty Party was established in hopes of making abolitionism a political movement

24 Utopian Communities, Mid-Nineteenth Century • pg. 426

25 fig12_03.jpg Page 428: The Crisis, a publication by the communitarian Robert Owen and his son, Robert Dale Owen. The cover depicts Owen’s vision of a planned socialist community. Credit: New York Public Library.

26 fig12_05.jpg Page 431: A temperance banner from around 1850 depicts a young man torn between a woman in white, who illustrates female purity, and a temptress, who offers him a drink of liquor. Credit: Reproduced from the Collection of the Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, LC-USZC2-586.

27 fig12_06.jpg Page 432: A German Beer Garden on Sunday Evening, an engraving from Harper’s Weekly, October 15, German and Irish immigrants resented efforts of temperance reformers to prohibit the sale of alcoholic beverages. Credit: Corbis.

28 fig12_09.jpg Page 436: The masthead of William Lloyd Garrison’s The Liberator, with engravings of scenes of slavery and freedom. Credit: Reproduced from the Collection of the Library of Congress.

29 fig12_10ab.jpg Page 437 left: Pages from an abolitionist book for children. Abolitionists sought to convince young and old of the evils of slavery. Credit: The Boston Athenaeum, TBMR VEP.An 847. The Anti-Slavery Alphabet, a children's book (1847).

30 fig12_10cd.jpg Page 437 right: Pages from an abolitionist book for children. Abolitionists sought to convince young and old of the evils of slavery. Credit: The Boston Athenaeum, TBMR VEP.An 847. The Anti-Slavery Alphabet, a children's book (1847).

31 fig12_11.jpg Page 440: Slave Market of America, an engraving produced by the American Anti-Slavery Society in 1836, illustrates how abolitionists sought to identify their cause with American traditions, even as they mocked the nation’s claim to be a “land of the free.” Credit: Reproduced from the Collections of the Library of Congress, Rare Book and Special Collections Division, LC USZ

32 fig12_13.jpg Page 442: The frontispiece of the 1848 edition of David Walker’s Appeal and Henry Highland Garnet’s Address to the Slaves depicts a black figure receiving “liberty” and “justice” from heaven. Credit: Library of Congress, LC-USZ

33 fig12_15.jpg Page 443: An illustration from Types of Mankind, an 1854 book by the physicians and racial theorists Josiah C. Nott and George R. Gliddon, who argued that blacks formed a separate species, midway between whites and chimpanzees. Abolitionists sought to counter the pseudoscientific defenses of slavery and racism." Credit: Library of Congress, Call #GN23.N

34 fig12_14.jpg Page 444 top: Am I Not a Man and a Brother? The most common abolitionist depiction of a slave, this image not only presents African-Americans as unthreatening individuals seeking white assistance but also calls upon white Americans to recognize blacks as fellow men unjustly held in bondage. Credit: Reproduced from the Collections of the Library of Congress, Rare Book and Special Collections Division, LC-USZC

35 fig12_19.jpg Page 446: The May Session of the Woman’s Rights Convention, a cartoon published in Harper’s Weekly, June 11, A female orator addresses the audience of men and women, while hecklers in the balcony disrupt the proceedings. Credit: Library of Congress.

36 fig12_20.jpg Page 449: Portrait of feminist Margaret Fuller (1810–1850) from an undated daguerreotype. Credit: Bettmann/Corbis.

37 fig12_21.jpg Page 451: Woman’s Emancipation, a satirical engraving from Harper’s Monthly, August 1851, illustrating the much-ridiculed “Bloomer” costume. Credit: Bettmann/Corbis.

38 fig12_22.jpg Page 452: Am I Not a Woman and a Sister?, an illustration from The Liberator, Identifying with the plight of the female slave enabled free women to see more clearly the inequalities they themselves faced. Credit: Bettmann/Corbis.

39 fig12_23.jpg Page 454: An abolitionist lithograph depicting the trains “immediate emancipation” (with The Liberator as its front wheel) and the Liberty Party pulling into a railroad station. The Herald of Freedom and American Standard were antislavery newspapers. Credit: Reproduced from the Collection of the Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, LC-USZ

40 Go to website

41 Give Me Liberty! An American History
End chap. 12 W. W. Norton & Company Independent and Employee-Owned This concludes the Norton Media Library Slide Set for Chapter 12 Give Me Liberty! An American History by Eric Foner

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