English Study Guide

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The reform movements that occurred between 1820 and 1860 were changes to society that had positive and negative impacts. People in the North were against slavery while others in the South supported slavery. The temperance movement was widely supported although there were few who smuggled in alcohol through various methods. Although these movements were evenly split amongst Americans, the prison/asylum movement had the complete support of the people. They wanted the mental hospitals to administer “rehab” and not punishment and abuse. These movements evenly split society but were imperative changes necessary for the advancement of society.

The antislavery movement gained momentum after the horrors of slavery were revealed. The abolitionist movement was one of the most successful movements and had the most support about all the movements. The anti-slavery movement was successful due to first-hand accounts of the horrors of slavery. Slaves would escape the South and would tell their stories of abuse and punishment they received from the plantations in the South. This angered and motivated people for change in the U.S. Many people began publicly fighting for the rights of the African Americans. Because the horrors of slavery were seen through the abuse of the slaves, antislavery movements and abolitionists increased as support for this movement increased as well. This was beneficial to the North. The people in the North would fight for freedom to the slaves because they did not need the slaves for their economy or for their workforce. In the South, slaves were heavily used. Slaves were the foundation for the southern economy and wealth. Without slavery, their economy would have been decimated. Although former slaves like Fredrick Douglas would escape the south and tell his story in the North, people still did not accept freedom to the slaves. Fredrick Douglas fought for freedom and the end of abuse and punishment. Abolitionists like him were fairly common and helped...
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