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Francis Cabot Lowell

Boston merchant who had an idea to combine spinning and weaving under one roof. He formed the Boston Associates. They built a textile mill in Massachusetts. Had all machines needed to turn raw cotton into cloth

Samuel Slater

He was a British mechanic that moved to America and in 1791 invented the first American machine for spinning cotton. He is known as "the Father of the Factory System" and he started the idea of child labor in America's factories.

antebellum period

The time period before the Civil War during which there were many reforms, including the establishment of free (tax-supported) public schools, improving the treatment of the mentally ill, controlling/abolishing the sale of alcohol, winning equal legal/political rights for women, and abolishing slavery.

Second Great Awakening

A series of religious revivals starting in 1801, based on Methodism and Baptism. Stressed a religious philosophy of salvation through good deeds and tolerance for all Protestant sects. The revivals attracted women, Blacks, and Native Americans.

Timothy Dwight

He was an educated Reverend (president of Yale College) who helped initiate the Second Great Awakening. His campus revivals inspired many young men to become evangelical preachers.

revivalism; revival meetings

in a Christian context generally refers to a specific period of spiritual renewal in the life of the Church. While elements such as mass conversions and perceived beneficial effects on the moral climate of a given. These large-scale outdoor religious gatherings were important vehicles for the First Great Awakening. During these meetings, countless sinners professed conversion as revivalist preachers stirred up religious faith with fervid sermons.


The belief that the world was about to end with the seond coming of Christ. The preacher William Miller predicted the second coming would occur on October 21, 1844.

Church of Latter-Day Saints

the Mormons; sought to create a "New Jerusalem"; taught that every man and woman should aspire to become like a god and that family structure was very important, founded by Joseph Smith in the "Burned Over" district, after JS dies, Brigham Young leads them into Utah. Practice polygamy.

Joseph Smith; Brigham Young

Founded Mormonism in New York in 1830 with the guidance of an angel. 1843, Smith's announcement that God sanctioned polygamy split the Mormons and let to an uprising against Mormons in 1844; translated the Book of Mormon and died a martyr. Once Joseph was assassinated Brigham becasue the religious leader of the Mormon Church.

New Zion

This was a religious community established by the Mormons on the banks of the Great Salt Lake in Utah.

romantic movement

a movement in response to the cold rationality of the Enlightenment that stressed poetic, religious, and visionary human experience; sought to combine the "reason" of the Enlightenment with a renewed "faith" in the poetic powers of the human being


Believed in Transcendentalism, they included Emerson (who pioneered the movement) and Thoreau. Many of them formed cooperative communities such as Brook Farm and Fruitlands, in which they lived and farmed together with the philosophy as their guide. "They sympathize with each other in the hope that the future will not always be as the past." It was more literary than practical - Brook Farm lasted only from 1841 to 1847.

ralph waldo emerson

American transcendentalist who was against slavery and stressed self-reliance, optimism, self-improvement, self-confidence, and freedom. He was a prime example of a transcendentalist and helped further the movement.

Henry David Thoreau

American transcendentalist who was against a government that supported slavery. He wrote down his beliefs in Walden. He started the movement of civil-disobedience when he refused to pay the toll-tax to support him Mexican War.

Brook Farm; George Ripley

utopian society established by transcendentalist George Ripley near Boston in 1841; members shared equally in farm work and leisure discussions of literature and art. Author Nathaniel Hawthorne and others become disenchanted with the experiment, and it collapsed after a fire in 1847. He was the leader who created this soceity.


A supporter of women's claims to the same rights and treatment as men.

Margaret Fuller

Social reformer, leader in women's movement and a transcendentalist. Edited "The Dial" which was the publication of the transcendentalists. It appealed to people who wanted "perfect freedom" "progress in philosophy and theology and hope that the future will not always be as the past".

Theodore Parker

Parker was a clergyman, theologian, and the author of A Letter to the People and A Discourse of Matters Pertaining to Religion. He was also an active opponent of slavery who aided in the escape of slaves and the rescue of Anthony Burns, supported New England Emigrant Society, and participated in John Brown's raid in 1859.

Utopian Communities

Idealistic and impractical communities. Who, Rather than seeking to create an ideal government or reform the world, withdrew from the sinful, corrupt world to work their miracles in microcosm, hoping to imitate the elect state of affairs that existed among the Apostles.


A millennial group who believed in both Jesus and a mystic named Ann Lee. Since they were celibate and could only increase their numbers through recruitment and conversion, they eventually ceased to exist.

Robert Owen; New Harmony

(1771-1858) British cotton manufacturer believed that humans would reveal their true natural goodness if they lived in a cooperative environment. Tested his theories at New Lanark, Scotland and New Harmony, Indiana, but failed.This was a society that focusted on Utopian Socialism (Communism). It was started by Robert Owens but failed because everybody did not share a fair load of the work.

Joseph Henry Noyes; Oneida Comunity

He helped found the Oneida Community, which believed that god is good and you can have more than one wife.

Charles Fourier; Phalanxes

French sociologist and reformer who hoped to achieve universal harmony by reorganizing society (1772-1837). They were part of utopian society of Fourier, consisted of 1620 people, represented all skills needed for society to function

Horace Greeley

An American newspaper editor and founder of the Republican party. His New York Tribune was America's most influential newspaper 1840-1870. Greeley used it to promote the Whig and Republican parties, as well as antislavery and a host of reforms.

George Caleb Bingham

American painter who specialized in painting scenes of everyday life in the West.

William S. Mount

Contemporary of the Hudson River school; began as a history painter but moved to depicting scenes form everyday life

Thomas Cole

Landscape artist who became a leader of the Hudson River School of painting/ known for painting nature scenes around the Hudson River Valley

Frederick Church

Central figure in the Hudson River School, pupil of Thomas Cole, known for his landscapes and for painting colossal views of exotic places

Hudson River School

Founded by Thomas Cole, first native school of landscape painting in the U.S.; attracted artists rebelling against the neoclassical tradition, painted many scenes of New York's Hudson River

Washington Irving

American writer remembered for the stories "Rip Van Winkle" and "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow," contained in The Sketch Book (1819-1820).

James Fenimore Cooper

American novelist who is best remembered for his novels of frontier life, such as The Last of the Mohicans (1826).

Nathaniel Hawthorne

Originally a transcendentalist; later rejected them and became a leading anti-transcendentalist. He was a descendant of Puritan settlers. The Scarlet Letter shows the hypocrisy and insensitivity of New England puritans by showing their cruelty to a woman who has committed adultery and is forced to wear a scarlet "A".


restraint or moderation, especially in regards to alcohol or food

American Temperance Society

An organization group in which reformers are trying to help the ever present drink problem. This group was formed in Boston in 1826, and it was the first well-organized group created to deal with the problems drunkards had on societies well being, and the possible well-being of the individuals that are heavily influenced by alcohol.


Temperance movement which involved relying on each other, sharing alcoholic experiences and relying upon divine help, to help keep each other sober. Total abstinence from alcohol was their goal. The group taught sobriety and preceded Alcoholics Anonymous by 100 years.

Women's Christian

Women who practiced the religion of christianity

Temperance Union

formed to promote a limitation of liquour consumption. Liked by women because they felt that alcohol caused men to be away from home, to commit infedility, etc.

Asylum Movement

Reform in the caretaking/living conditions for the increasing numbers of criminals, emotionally disturbed persons, and paupers in the 1820s and 1830s.

Dorothea Dix

A reformer and pioneer in the movement to treat the insane as mentally ill, beginning in the 1820's, she was responsible for improving conditions in jails, poorhouses and insane asylums throughout the U.S. and Canada. She succeeded in persuading many states to assume responsibility for the care of the mentally ill. She served as the Superintendant of Nurses for the Union Army during the Civil War.

Thomas Gallaudet

studied techniques for instructing hearing impaired people and established the first american school for the hearing impaired

Samuel Gridley Howe

founder of the first American school for the blind students


New prisons built in Pennsylvania that experimented with the technique of placing prisoners in solitary confinement; these experiments were dropped because of the high suicide rate.

Auburn System

prison system designed to reform criminals ad reduce expenses through the sale of items produced in workshops. Prisoners slept in solitary cells, marched in military formation to meals and workshops, and were forbidden to speak to one another at any time.

Horace Mann

Secretary of the Massachusetts Board of Education, he was a prominent proponent of public school reform, and set the standard for public schools throughout the nation.

Public School Movement

The reforms of this movement included compulsory attendance for all kids, a longer school year, and increased teacher preparation.

McGuffey Readers

One of the first known textbooks, it is estimated that at least 120 million copies of McGuffey's Readers were sold between 1836 and 1960, sell about 30,000 copies a year. McGuffey's Readers are still in use today in some school systems, and by parents for home schooling purposes.

Women's Rights Movement

giving women the right to vote-seneca falls ny

Sarah Grimke; Angelina Grimke

Quaker sisters from South Carolina who came north and became active in the abolitionist movement; Angelina married Theodore Weld, a leading abolitionist and Sarah wrote and lectured on a variety of reforms including women's rights and abolition.

Letter on the Condition of Women and the Equality of the Sexes

Used the individualist feminist approach of comparing slavery to marriage for the wife where women are treated as property and have little to no rights especially in economic affairs of the house hold. Written by Angelina and Sarah Grimke

Lucretia Mott

Quaker activist in both the abolitionist and women's movements; with Elizabeth Cady Stanton, she was a principal organizer of the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton

A member of the women's right's movement in 1840. She was a mother of seven, and she shocked other feminists by advocating suffrage for women at the first Women's Right's Convention in Seneca, New York 1848. Stanton read a "Declaration of Sentiments" which declared "all men and women are created equal."

Seneca Falls Convention

Took place in upperstate New York in 1848. Women of all ages and even some men went to discuss the rights and conditions of women. There, they wrote the Declaration of Sentiments, which among other things, tried to get women the right to vote.

Susan B. Anthony

leader of woman suffrage movement, who helped to define the movement's goals and beliefs and to lead its actions

American Colonization Society

A Society that thought slavery was bad. They would buy land in Africa and get free blacks to move there. One of these such colonies was made into what now is Liberia. Most sponsors just wanted to get blacks out of their country.

American Antislavery Society

Founded in 1833 by William Lloyd Garrison and other abolitionists. Garrison burned the Constitution as a proslavery document. Argued for "no Union with slaveholders" until they repented for their sins by freeing their slaves.


The militant effort to do away with slavery. It began in the north in the 1700's. Becoming a major issue in the 1830's, it dominated politics by the 1840's. Congress became a battle ground between the pro and anti slavery forces

William Lloyd Garrison

1805-1879. Prominent American abolitionist, journalist and social reformer. Editor of radical abolitionist newspaper "The Liberator", and one of the founders of the American Anti-Slavery Society.

Liberty Party

A former political party in the United States; formed in 1839 to oppose the practice of slavery; merged with the Free Soil Party in 1848

Frederick Douglass

one of the most prominent african american figures in the abolitionist movement. escaped from slavery in maryland. he was a great thinker and speaker. published his own antislavery newspaper called the north star and wrote an autobiography that was published in 1845.

Harriet Tubman

United States abolitionist born a slave on a plantation in Maryland and became a famous conductor on the Underground Railroad leading other slaves to freedom in the North (1820-1913)

David Ruggles

an anti-slavery activist who was active in the New York Committee of Vigilance and the Underground Railroad. He claimed to have led over six hundred people, including friend and fellow abolitionist Frederick Douglass, to freedom in the North.

Sojourner Truth

United States abolitionist and feminist who was freed from slavery and became a leading advocate of the abolition of slavery and for the rights of women (1797-1883)

William Still

This man, the son of escape slaves, worked for the Pennsylvania Abolitionists Society and wrote down the stories of the escaped slaves he met

David Walker

He was a black abolitionist who called for the immediate emancipation of slaves. He wrote the "Appeal to the Colored Citizens of the World." It called for a bloody end to white supremacy. He believed that the only way to end slavery was for slaves to physically revolt.

Henry Highland Garnet

an African American abolitionist and orator. An advocate of militant abolitionism, Garnet was a prominent member of the abolition movement that led against moral suasion toward more political action. He joined the American Anti-Slavery Society and frequently spoke at abolitionist conferences. One of his most famous speeches, "Call to Rebellion," was delivered in 1843 to the National Negro Convention in Buffalo, New York. Disheartened by the hostile treatment of blacks in America, Garnet took a stance unpopular among black activists by supporting African colonization. He spent the last months of his life as minister to Liberia, a country in west Africa colonized by American ex-slaves and black freemen.

Nat Turner

Slave in Virginia who started a slave rebellion in 1831 believing he was receiving signs from God His rebellion was the largest sign of black resistance to slavery in America and led the state legislature of Virginia to a policy that said no one could question slavery.

American Peace Society

Founded in 1828 by William Laddit. Formally condemned all wars; though it supported the U.S. government during the Civil War; WWI; and WWII. It was dissolved after the United Nations was formed in 1945.

Sylvester Graham

American clergyman whose advocacy of health regimen emphasizing temperance and vegetarianism found lasting expression in graham cracker

Amelia Bloomer

An American women's rights and temperance advocate. She presented her views in her own monthly paper, The Lily, which she began publishing in 1849. When Amelia was 22, she married a lawyer by the name of Dexter Bloomer. One of the major causes promoted by Amelia was a change in dress standards for women so that they would be less restrictive.

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