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Women of the Antebellum Reform Movement

Primary Source Set

The 1830s and 1840s was an era of reform and revival for the United States. In the wake of the spiritual renewal of the Second Great Awakening, many were demanding religious and societal change in order to provide for marginalized people. Women took a leadership role in reform efforts, tackling a broad range of issues from prisons to education to the abolition of slavery. Ultimately, many diverse campaigns merged into activism against slavery. Women reformers saw results of their efforts during these decades, though some of their goals would have to wait till after the upheaval of the 1850s and the bloodshed of the Civil War in the 1860s. This set highlights several women reformers. For more information on the women’s suffrage movement in particular, see the primary source set on Women’s Suffrage. For a broader picture of the abolitionist movement, visit the source set on The American Abolitionist Movement.

Additional resources for research

  1. Women’s Reform Movement, Teachinghistory.org.
  2. Women and Abolitionism,” The Abolition Seminar, Library Company of Philadelphia.
  3. Notable People,” Women Working, 1800-1830, Harvard University Library Open Collections Program.

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