During the pre-civil war period, the Antebellum years, there were forces that shaped and reformed American society, making today’s society the way it is. Anti-slavery movements, social reform ,and women’s rights movements were all forces that remade American society during this time period. The fight for women and slaves along with social reform forever changed our society. The issue of slavery was always surfacing in older America; people finally began to do something about it in the slaves’ favor. People (including women) started to fight for slaves to have right and to be free because they were humans like everyone else, and they claimed it to be unconstitutional to refuse them freedom. The American Anti-Slavery Society was founded by William Lloyd Garrison and was an abolitionist society. This society normally sponsored meetings, signed anti-slavery petitions, and printed propaganda to promote anti-slavery.
Many lectures and speeches were given by members of the society to help spread the word of anti-slavery across the land. As the issue on slavery grew, more and more people picked sides and got involved, which lead to heated arguments and eventually to physical debacles and riots. The government had to do something at that point to address the unconstitutionality of slavery. Women have been fighting for civil rights for awhile now and were determined to get them. Women transformed into feminists of a sort and fought for the right to vote and the ability to get a job and earn a wage, as any man would. Equality and political rights were important to many women, such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott; Mott is widely known as the mother of feminism.
Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton formed the Seneca Falls Convention, a two day long women’s rights convention held in Seneca Falls, New York. Anti-slavery and women’s rights movements engendered the social reform that occurred during the Antebellum period. As time went on, slaves acquired more freedom and even went to fight in the Civil War. Women also helped in the war by becoming nurses. They gained as well more political rights and more equality to men; they eventually went on to work in factories and earned wages rather than being homebound. These factors forced the American society to change through reform and the desire of certain groups of people to change. The women fought for what they wanted and the slaves did the same, with some help along the way. Much of the equality we see in America today is largely due to the anti-slavery movements, women’s rights movements, and social reform that took place in the Antebellum period.
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