The public engagement of women as speakers and activists was troubling to some.
The lynching of a prominent antislavery newspaper editor and the smashing of printing presses was a result of disunion and outrage over abolitionism.
The white southerners believed that the antislavery movement had incited Nat Turner's rebellion.
The personal safety of the abolitionists was threatened by violent harassment.
In 1836, Whigs and Democrats joined forces to pass the gag rule, which banned discussion of petitions for abolition in the House of Representatives.
The abolitionist movement began to splinter in the face of large external opposition.
An ideological split shook the foundations of antislavery.
The U.S. Constitution was pro-slavery and the current political system was irredeemable according to William Lloyd Garrison.
They focused their efforts on persuading the public to redeem the nation.
The level of entrenched opposition met in the 1830s made many abolitionists feel that moral suasion was no longer realistic.
They believed that abolition would have to happen through political processes.
James G was the leader of the Liberty Party.
The American Anti-Slavery Society elevated women to leadership positions and endorsed women's suffragy, which compelled many abolitionists to leave.
The question came to a head when the business committee of the society elected a new member in 1840.
Some conservative members saw the elevation of women to full leadership roles as evidence that the society had lost sight of its most important goal.
These disputes became so bitter that former friends cut social ties.
The disappointment of the 1830s led to another significant shift.
In the 1840s, abolitionists moved from agendas based on reform to agendas based on resistance.
Political abolitionists launched sustained campaigns to bring their agendas to the ballot box in order to appeal to hearts and minds.
Both slaveholders and the northern public were against the fight against the slave power.
Antislavery networks were established to pressure the United States to abolish slavery.
The intersection of these two trends was represented by Frederick Douglass.
After escaping from slavery, the orator and narrator of his experiences in slavery, Frederick Douglass, came to the fore of the abolitionist movement as a naturally gifted orator.
His first autobiography, published in 1845, was so widely read that it was reprinted in nine editions and translated into several languages.
He was a young man when this daguerreotype was taken, around age twentynine.
He was not the first or the last runaway slave to make this voyage, but his success abroad helped to make up for it.
The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 gave new teeth to the model of resistance to the slave power.
The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 punished officials who failed to arrest runaways and private citizens who tried to help them.
The 1850s were a violent period of American antislavery because of this law and the possibility that slavery would be allowed in Kansas when it was admitted as a state.
As armed mobs protected runaway slaves in the North, reform took a back seat.
The violence of the 1850s convinced many Americans that the issue of slavery was pushing the nation to the brink of sectional cataclysm.
The fight for the moral soul of the country has been going on for two decades.
The movement faced many problems, but it was not a failure.
The model of interracial coexistence was offered by the prominence of African Americans in abolitionist organizations.
The Republican Party gained traction in the years preceding the Civil War because of the efforts of immediatists.
It's hard to imagine that Abraham Lincoln could have become president in 1860 without the ground prepared by antislavery advocates and the presence of radicals against whom he could be cast as a moderate alternative.
The evangelical moral compass of revivalist Protestantism provided motivation for the abolitionists, even though it took a civil war to break the bonds of slavery in the United States.
The family and home were seen as the center of civic virtue and moral influence in the era of revivalism and reform.
Middle-class white women were confined to the domestic sphere, where they were responsible for educating children and maintaining household virtue.
Women took the ideology that defined their place in the home and used it to fashion a public role for them.
Women became more visible and active in the public sphere because of this.
White middle-class women were able to leave their homes and join societies dedicated to everything from literary interests to the antislavery movement because of the Second Great Awakening.
In the early 19th century, the dominant understanding of gender claimed that women were the spiritual heads of the home.
Women were expected to be submissive and domestic, and to pass these virtues on to their children.
Historians have described these expectations as the "Cult of Domesticity," or the "Cult of True Womanhood," and they developed in tandem with industrialization, the market revolution, and the Second Great Awakening.
Voluntary work related to labor laws, prison reform, and antislavery applied women's roles as guardians of moral virtue to address all forms of social issues that they felt contributed to the moral decline of society.
There were clear limitations to the valuation of women's position in society.
Men gained legal control over their wives' property and women had no legal rights over their children under the terms of coverture.
Women couldn't initiate divorce, make wills, sign contracts, or vote.
The great strides made by women during the antebellum period can be seen in female education.
Several female reformers worked to increase women's access to education as part of a larger education reform movement.
They argued that if women were to take charge of the education of their children, they needed to be educated themselves.
While the women's education movement did not push for women's political or social equality, it did assert women's intellectual equality with men, an idea that would eventually have important effects.
The same rigorous curriculum that was used for boys was adopted by the founder of the Troy Female Seminary.
The goal of many of the schools was to train women to be teachers.
Many graduates of these prominent seminaries found their own schools and spread the word about women's potential to take part in public life.
The public engagement of the abolitionist movement was important.
Many of the earliest women's rights advocates began their activism by fighting the injustice of slavery.
Female societies dedicated to the antislavery cause were established in Boston, New York, and Philadelphia in the 1830s.
These societies were similar to the prayer and fund-raising projects of other reform societies.
The strategies of such societies changed.
Women could not vote, but they used their right to petition to express their antislavery grievances.
Impassioned women like the Grimke sisters began to travel on lecture circuits.
The cause of women's rights to abolitionism was tethered by this strategy.
They witnessed the horrors of slavery firsthand when they were born to a wealthy family in Charleston, South Carolina.
They decided to support the antislavery movement because they werepulsed by the treatment of the slaves on the Grimke plantation.
They attracted a crowd of both men and women when they first spoke to female audiences.
They were among the earliest and most famous American women.
The Grimke sisters were inspired to speak out against more than the slave system when they were harassed and opposed to speaking about antislavery.
They began to see that they would need to fight for women's rights in order to fight for the rights of slaves.