Essay On Abolitionism And Women's Rights Movement

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In the wake of the second Great Awakening in the early 1800’s, societal morals regarding slavery, lack of rights for women, the prison system, education, and other institutions were questioned. Unitarianism stressed salvation through good works, and both religious converts and transcendentalists initiated social reform movements in an attempt to improve the moral state of America. Two of these movements that included perhaps the most controversy and struggle included abolitionism and women’s rights. Although both the abolitionist and women’s rights movements were able to eventually create lasting societal and political change, the fact that only a small portion of the population had any democratic rights showed the initial weaknesses of American democracy. Initially it can be argued that both of these movements were successful because they achieved their goals of suffrage for black men in 1869 and all women in 1920. The fact that both of these highly oppressed groups were able to make their voices heard and initiate substantial change symbolizes the whole purpose of a just democratic system. The abolitionist movement …show more content…

In a perfect democracy, both of these groups should have been able to easily petition the government and have their voices heard equally. The age of social reform in America closely mirrored social reform in Britain, both in time and in subjects. Britain abolished slavery in 1833, and groups of influential women’s suffragists argued for women’s rights much like those in America. The abolitionist and women’s rights movements perhaps drew inspiration from British reforms, and both nations found themselves in similar moral condition after the Revolution. However, America would have a long way to go before these social reforms actually strengthened its

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