Antebellum Reform Essay

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During the Antebellum Reform period, women took on the role of moral and social reformers who strived to teach morality, improve public institutions, abolish slavery, and obtain women’s rights through organizations, written works, political petitions, and public lectures. Their attempts to reform society were hindered by the ingrained system of patriarchy, the church, and even other women. Women became moral and social reformers by striving to teach morality to other women and improve public institutions such as prisons, asylums, and schools through organizations and political petitions. The Female Moral Reform Society was established in 1834 by a group of women to combat moral degradation in women such as in prostitution. The Society gave moral guidance to women and sang hymns in brothels to prevent women from becoming prostitutes. Dorothea Dix, a female social reformer, petitioned state lawmakers to improve prisons and establish asylums for the mentally ill, resulting in these changes being made in many states. Education and schooling was also improved on by Horace Mann, who made teaching standards and made school years longer. Catharine Beecher also…show more content…
Female abolitionists like Maria W. Stewart and Sojourner Truth held public lectures to spread the horribleness of slavery by utilizing morality and testimonies from former or escaped slaves. Harriet Jacobs also contributed to spreading the anti-slavery message through written works, such as Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, in which she tells of sexual harassment suffered by her when she was a slave. Harriet Beecher Stowe also published Uncle Tom’s Cabin in 1852 in which she attacks slavery as an immoral institution that degrades slave women. These public actions to address concerns of equality and morality drew many women into public participation and raised the issue of women’s

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