Reform Movements

Topics: Women's suffrage, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, United States Constitution Pages: 3 (843 words) Published: March 5, 2006
Reform Movements
During the 19th Century there were many reform movements that took place. Reform movements were movements that were organized to reform or change the certain way of things. Reform movements did not always work but the ones that did greatly changed the way our nation operates today. There were three major reform movements that have altered the nation; the abolitionist movement, the temperance movement and the women's suffrage movement. Without these movements, and the great leaders involved, many common rights would not exist today.

One of the most important social and political reform movement in United States history was the antislavery movement. This movement and the beliefs that were held by it started many antislavery organizations and abolitionist groups and newspapers. The most well known effect of this movement was the Underground Railroad. The Underground Railroad was started in 1849 when Harriet Tubman escaped from her plantation. She returned to the south numerous times at first to retrieve her family and bring them to slavery, soon she was coming back to help anyone who wanted to escape to freedom with her. The underground Railroad was a route to Canada from the south to the north parts if the country. Along the way were houses belonging to abolitionist, mostly whites, who graciously hide the runaway slaves and then guide them to their next stop on their way to freedom in the north. Over a few years Harriet Tubman manages to lead hundreds of slaves up through the northern states into Canada.

Over the next few years many laws were passed stating the slavery was still legal and any runaway found was to be returned to their owner's and the punishment was to their discretion. In 1863, after the civil war, President Lincoln decrees that all slaves in Rebel territory (the south) are free on January 1, 1863. A couple years later in 1865 the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution outlaws slavery completely. Although blacks...
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