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Fugitive Slave Act (1850)

The Fugitive SlaveA slave who escaped from his/her master and traveled North to free states. Such slaves were considered fugitives because laws prohibited slaves from leaving their masters. In 1850 a new fugitive slave law was passed which tightened restrictions …

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Northampton Association of Education and Industry (1842-1846)

The NAEINorthampton Association of Education and Industry is a Utopian communal living experiment that begins in 1842. The founders support immediate abolitionThe theory that slavery should be ended immediately without excuse or exception. William Lloyd Garrison and his followers …

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Panic of 1837

In 1837, following a period of speculation, banks stop payments in gold and silver. A five-year depression follows, with banks failing and high unemployment.

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Erie Canal opened (1825)

The Erie Canal opens to great fanfare, connecting Albany to Buffalo, New York via the 363-mile long canal.

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Lowell Mills begun (1826)

The Lowell Mills are founded by the Merrimack Manufacturing Company. The mill uses a power loom combined with a strictly-controlled system of labor to produce textiles on a large scale.

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Second Great Awakening (1800-1840s)

The Second Great AwakeningA series of religious revivals that swept through the United States in the early decades of the 19th century. Religious revivalismA movement to reawaken religious faith and participation through large meetings led by evangelical ministers who encouraged …

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Northampton Silk Company Founded by Samuel Whitmarsh (1838)

Samuel Whitmarsh opens the first silk mill in Northampton.

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