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Reform Movements (1825-1850)

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    Reform Movements (1825-1850)

    The years of 1830-1840, was Jacksonian Democracy, which mainly stressed universal manhood suffrage, public education, majority rule and the abolition of debtor prisons. Through rise of these popular politics, free white makes achieved universal suffrage. Women, Blacks, and Native Americans, however, were excluded from these processes. Reform movements flourished from all these issues to heighten public awareness and to influence social and political policy. Abolitionism reform movements were the prominent factors in creating a more democratic government; this was a belief that slavery was sinful and that all men are created equal under god.

    Abolitionism differs to others Jackson reform movements in that it focus deeply on antislavery, when the others focus on different  topics like women’s rights, temperance, public schools, prisons, etc. Abolitionism is also the most prominent and controversial Jacksonian reform movement, as it also influences the other reforms quite largely.

    Abolitionism, like many other Jacksonian reform movements of the period, adopted a variety of similar tactics to bring about social change. Some relied on “moral suasion” to convert people (slave holders) to their cause (pg.423 textbook). This method, though isn’t very effective for it left the slaves little to do in seeking their own liberation and wait for the nations’ moral regeneration. “Others, like opponents of the “demon rum” sought to use the power of the government to force sinners to change their ways. Some reformers decided to withdraw altogether from the larger society and establish their own cooperative settlements [a utopia](pg.411)” The methods here maybe differs from each other but they both aren’t very effective or efficient in achieving immediate abolishment. They also don’t last very long like in the case of the “utopia”. Abolitionism was influenced by the legacy of the Second Great Awakening, a period of religious revival stressing the reform of individuals.

    For language methods, it was not until the appearance in 1831 of The Liberator, William Lloyd Garrison’s weekly journal published in Boston, did abolitionism became even more controversial. “I will be as harsh as truth…and as unpromising as justices, on this subject, I do not wish to think, or speak, or write with moderation…I will not equivocate-I will not excuse-I will not retreat a single inch-and I will be heard.(pg.423)” -And heard he was, partly because southerners were outraged by his inflammatory rhetoric. The powerful rhetoric he used seems to get peoples’ immediate attention, thus will help spread and persuade the foes of slavery.

    Some drastic means that Abolitionist took were boycotting slaves produced products such as cotton and sugar. They also sent mail to all the southerners’ addresses they could find. They campaigned to southerners that slaveholders hip were sinful. Southerners became upset and fearing that if they continue to campaign against slavery, their own slaves will revolt against them. They didn’t want abolitionists filling the slaves heads with of idea. Southerners goes to post offices to destroy these mails before they could ever reach houses. Due to these illegal acts, northerners accused them and took law measures. Jackson was openly supportive about slavery and a slaveholder himself and started “allowing the censorship of mail” of southerners before it was sent out (429).

    Abolitionists should be credited to the extent that they did help contributed ideas that help flamed the war but they should definitely not be blamed for the Civil War. To solely blame them as the cause of the war is a very ignorant thing to do because there will always be several factors as to why certain events happen in History.

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    Reform Movements (1825-1850). (2016, Jun 07). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/reform-movements-1825-1850/

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