Radical Equality: 1842-1846

Glossary

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Abby Kelly - Kelly was a leading nineteenth-century abolitionist and women’s rights activist. She was born in Massachusetts and advocated for the end of slavery and for full civil rights for African Americans.
Abolitionism - Movement to abolish/end slavery in the United States that increasingly gained support in the 1830s, 40s, and 50s.
American Anti-Slavery Society - An abolitionist organization founded by William Lloyd Garrison that advocated the immediate abolition of slavery and supported an active role for women in the movement.
Antebellum period - Era in American history referring to the time period between the creation of the United States and the start of the Civil War.
Anti-slavery Expansionism - The belief that slavery should not be expanded into the territories acquired in the Mexican Cession as proposed in the Wilmot Proviso.
Asylum Movement - American movement beginning in the 1830s and 40s which advocated for recognition of mental illness and for the establishment of separate hospital asylums for the mentally ill.
Brook Farm - Brook Farm was a transcendentalist utopian communal experiment started by the former Unitarian minister George Ripley at the Ellis farm in West Roxbury, Massachusetts.
Brooklyn Female Anti-Slavery Society - Brooklyn, CT female abolitionist society that supported Garrisonian abolitionism. Dolly Stetson was president of the society before moving to the NAEI.
Cash cropping - A crop grown in mass primarily for sale to others rather than for his or her own use. Became more popular after the Market Revolution in the 1830s.
Charles J. Finney - Finney was a Presbyterian minister and became a leader of the evangelical revival movement in America during the Second Great Awakening.
Come-outerism - The practice in which people left organized churches that did not openly renounce slavery and support abolitionism.
Communal experiment - During the late 1840s, several groups experimented with communal living as a way to resist the social, political and economic changes of the time.
Communitarian moment - A short period of time in the 1840s within which numerous utopian communities formed in attempts to promote reform and change in society.
Cotton gin - Machine, invented by Eli Whitney, that quickly and easily separates the cotton fibers from the seedpods. The cotton gin drastically cut the time needed to produce sellable cotton.
Cult of domesticity - A prevailing view among middle and upper class white women during the nineteenth century in Great Britain and the United States. Women were put in the center of the domestic sphere and were expected to fulfill the roles of a calm and nurturing mother, a loving and faithful wife, and a passive, delicate, and virtuous creature. These women were also expected to be pious and religious, teaching those around them by their Christian beliefs, and expected to unfailingly inspire and support their husbands.
David Ruggles - David Ruggles was 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.
Democratic experiments - In the 19th century, many groups of people formed utopian communities to try out new ways of organizing society.
Denominational college - A college that supports and officially recognizes a specific Christian denomination.
Dietary reform - A series of movements in the 1830s and 40s that advocated dietary changes to promote self-discipline, self improvement, moral reform.
Disunion - William Lloyd Garrison and other radical abolitionists called for the splitting up of the United States because they believed that the U.S. Constitution sanctioned slavery.
Dorothea Dix - Dix was an army nurse during the Civil War who became a key leader in the movement for health reform, the establishment of state mental hospitals, and the recognition of mental illness.
Education reform - Horace Mann was the leading advocate for the public school movement in the mid 19th century. People advocated for learning by doing models, moral education and the expansion of adult political education. New college formed during this era, such as Mount Holyoke. Adult education was also expanded through lyceum lecture societies that provided lecturers for local communities.
Educational Reform - Horace Mann was the leading advocate for the public school movement in the mid 19th century. People advocated for learning by doing models, moral education and the expansion of adult political education. New college formed during this era, such as Mount Holyoke. Adult education was also expanded through lyceum lecture societies that provided lecturers for local communities.
Egalitarian - A belief and political doctrine stating that all people should be treated as equals, and have the same political, social, economic, and civil rights.
Era of reform - Era in the 1830s, 40s, and 50s, when many different reforms attempted to change society. Movements in temperance, democracy, prison reform, education reform, women’s suffrage and abolitionism. By the 1850s, abolitionism became the dominant reform movement in American society. The reform movement stemmed from the Second Great Awakening.
Era of the Common Man - During the 1830s and 40s the participation of citizens in government increased through universal manhood suffrage, party nominating conventions, popular election of electors, rise in third parties, more elected offices, and popular campaigning. As a result of this increased democratic participation, the period becomes known as the Era of the Common Man.
Expanded democracy - Expanded democracy Reform aimed at increasing the participation of women and African-Americans in the political system.
Expansion of slavery - According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the slave population in the United States in 1790 was 697,897. By 1830, this number had risen to about two million. On the eve of the Civil War, the U.S. had 3.9 million slaves.
Fourier Phalanx - A community based on the ideas of French socialist Charles Fourier. Fourier advocated that people share work and living arrangements to avoid the competitive society.
Fourierism - A community based on the ideas of French socialist Charles Fourier. Fourier advocated that people share work and living arrangements to avoid the competitive society.
Frederick Douglass - One of the foremost leaders of the abolitionist movement, which fought to end slavery within the United States in the decades prior to the Civil War. A brilliant speaker, Douglass was asked by the American Anti-Slavery Society to engage in a tour of lectures, and so became recognized as one of America's first great black speakers. He won world fame when his autobiography was publicized in 1845. Two years later he began publishing an antislavery paper called the North Star.
Free Labor - The political belief that people should have the freedom to choose their jobs. Free labor was an economic argument against slavery. Free labor argued that slavery prohibited people from getting jobs.
Free product - A product made from materials free from slave labor.
Fruitlands - Fruitlands was a transcendentalist utopian community established in Harvard, Massachusetts by Amos Bronson Alcott and Charles Lane in the 1840s.
Fugitive slave - A 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 on penalties for fugitive slaves and those who protected them.
Garrisonian Abolitionist - Inspired by the religious revivals of the Second Great Awakening, Garrison became a ardent abolitionist. Through his speeches and writings in the Liberator, Garrison argued for the immediate abolition of slavery based on moral wrongs. He also advocated for the participation of women in the movement.
Gendered division of labor - Where labor within a given system is divided based on women’s roles and men’s roles.
George Washington Sullivan - Sullivan was the fourth permanent African-American resident of the Association, admitted on November 3, 1843.
Gradual emancipation - The theory that slavery should be ended gradually and not immediately.
Grimke sisters - Grimke sisters Angelina and Sarah Grimke were two early female abolitionists and women's rights activists. They traveled throughout the North, lecturing about their first-hand experiences with slavery on their family plantation in South Carolina.
Hancock Shaker Village - Hancock Village thrived as an active Shaker community during most of the following two centuries. Shaker communities were religious communal movements which kept men and women strictly separate, forbidding marriage and sexual relations. This posed a problem with membership for most Shaker communities.
Harriet Tubman - Harriet Tubman was a runaway slave from Maryland. She led hundreds of slaves to freedom through the Underground Railroad. She later became a leader in the abolitionist movement.
Horace Mann - Horace Mann was an education reformer from Massachusetts, who worked to establish free, public, non-sectarian education for every man and woman. Edit
Hydropathy - The use of water for self-purification. A practice that supports self-discipline and matches the reform sentiment of the time.
Immediate abolition - The theory that slavery should be ended immediately without excuse or exception. William Lloyd Garrison and his followers advocated for immediate abolition.
Intrinsically beneficial - Useful or advantageous to their very essence.
Joint stock company - A company that pooled people’s saving to increase investment and reduce risk.
Liberalism - The movement away from traditional religious values, like original sin and predestination, toward more forgiving doctrines such as Unitarianism. Liberalism in the churches coincided with rationalism brought about by Enlightenment thinking and the continued democratization of America.
Liberator - The Liberator was an abolitionist newspaper founded by William Lloyd Garrison in 1831. The Liberator was a weekly publication published in Boston for 35 years. Although it had a small readership, the Liberator gained nationwide notoriety for its demand for the immediate and complete emancipation of all slaves in the United States.
Liberty Party - The Liberty Party began in1839 as an abolitionist political organization in upstate New York. They believed that Garrisonian religious radicalism was not effective or efficient. They believed political means were more effective.
Lyceum movement - Adult education was also expanded through lyceum lecture societies which provided lecturers for local communities.
Margaret Fuller - Margaret Fuller was a journalist, critic, and women’s rights activist. Her work, Woman in the 19th Century, is known as the first feminist work in American history.
Market Economy - An economic system within which people work to make money to buy consumer products. The markets drive the economic activity through private business.
Market revolution - Major economic shift in the 1820s and 30s in which Americans moved from a self-sufficient home economy to a market economy reliant on currency and wage labor.
McGuffey Readers - A series of school readers that were created by Rev. William Holmes McGuffey beginning in 1833. They were published by a small publishing company called Truman and Smith based in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Mexican Cession - The territory gained by the United States as a result of the Mexican American war as defined by the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, signed in 1848. The territory was made up of the region of the present day southwestern United States.
Millenialism - The widespread belief that the world was about to end with the second coming of Christ. Thousands of followers believed in a preacher named William Miller, who predicted a specific date in 1844 for the second coming.
Moderate - A person who holds a middle position between two viewpoints. He/she is neither extreme nor radical in their views.
Moral righteousness - Being just right and moral in belief, practice, and actions.
Mount Holyoke College - Mount Holyoke College is a liberal arts women’s college in South Hadley, Massachusetts, that was originally founded by Mary Lyon in 1837 as a women’s seminary.
N.P. Rogers - Nathaniel P. Rogers was an abolitionist and served as the editor of the New Hampshire Anti-Slavery Society's newspaper, Herald of Freedom.
NAEI - Northampton Association of Education and Industry
New Harmony - New Harmony was a non-religious (secular) utopian socialist society that aimed to answer the problems created by the Industrial Revolution. They failed because of financial problems and disagreements among members.
Non-resistance - A theory condemning the use of force in resisting violence or war. Non-resistants in the 1840s extended this idea into a critique of existing institutions, particularly slavery.
Non-sectarian community - A community, like the Northampton Association that is not affiliated with or restricted to a particular religious denomination.
North Star - The abolitionist newspaper that was started by Frederick Douglass in Rochester, NY in 1847.
Old Immigration - The Old Immigration period in the United States took place in the late 19th century when immigrants moved to the United States from Northern or Western Europe. Most of the immigrants came from Britain, France, Germany, Ireland or Scandinavia.
Old Northwest - The Old Northwest is located in the present-day Ohio River Valley territory. In the early 1800s, the Northwest territory became the focus of the first western land rush.
Oneida Community - The Oneida Community was a utopian commune founded by John Humphrey Noyes in 1848 in Oneida, New York. The community was devoted to economic equality and the perfect social society. They shared property and even marriage partners. They were criticized for being "sinful". They prospered economically by selling quality silverware.
Panic of 1837 - The Panic of 1837 was the result of many events including Andrew Jackson’s sabotage of the Bank of the United States. President Jackson ordered the withdrawal of all federal funds from the Bank and when it closed, credit collapsed.
Party nominating convention - In the 1830s political parties began to hold nominating conventions. Party politicians and voters would gather in large meeting halls to nominate the candidate for the party. Prior to nominating conventions, state legislature or exclusive caucuses would choose candidates without public consultation.
Popular campaigning - Political campaigns in the 1830s and 40s involved parades with floats, marching bands, and large rallies. Candidates would also appeal to large audiences by personally attacking opponents.
Popular election of electors - By the 1830s, the vast majority of states stopped having the state legislatures elect presidential electors and instead allowed their voters to choose electors.
Populist movement - A social movement that is popular among common people.
Prison reform - In Pennsylvania, during the 1840s, new prisons were built called penitentiaries. They experimented with solitary confinement to force people to self reflect on their sins and to repent. They reflected the major beliefs of the reform movements that discipline and structure would lead to moral improvement.
Prudence Crandall - In 1833, Prudence Crandall, a Quaker schoolteacher in Connecticut, admitted an African-American student to her private school. Townspeople protested greatly and Crandall was arrested. Her case became an inspiration for abolitionists across New England.
Rationalism - Belief in human reason.
Revivalism - A movement to reawaken religious faith and participation through large meetings led by evangelical ministers who encouraged attendees to repent to God publicly.
Rise of third parties - In the 1830s other political parties emerged even thought they could not realistically win a major election. As example of these third parties was the Anti-Masonic party.
Second Great Awakening - A series of religious revivals that swept through the United States in the early decades of the 19th century. Religious revivalism led to many reform movements across the north.
Sectionalism - Separation by and loyalty to a particular region of the country.
Slave-based cotton production - Cotton production exploded in the South after the invention of the cotton gin in 1794. The machine made it easier to separate cotton fibers from cotton seeds, making cotton production more profitable. Southern plantation owners increasingly relied on slave labor to grow and pick the cotton.
Social responsibility - Responsibilities citizens have to their society and nation.
Sojourner Truth - Sojourner Truth was born as Isabella Baumfree. She was a slave who was sold several times until she was freed under New York state law. She became an abolitionist and women's rights advocate through her religious activism. Her narrative is the autobiography of her life and experiences.
Stephen Rush - A fugitive slave who arrived at the Association in 1843.
Stringent moral code - Strict rules about appropriate behavior and beliefs.
Suffrage - The right to vote.
Temperance - Reform that targeted alcohol use in society. Reforms encouraged people to limit their alcohol consumption. Many reformers also advocated for the prohibition of alcohol in their communities, states, and the nation.
Underground Railroad - A secret network of safe houses where runaway slaves could stay on their journey north to freedom.
Utopian community - The attempt to create a utopian (perfect) community. Reformers in the 1840s experimented with utopian communities as a method for supporting the reforms of the time.
Utopianism - The attempt to create a utopian (perfect) community. Reformers in the 1840s experimented with utopian communities as a method for supporting the reforms of the time.
Water-cure - The use of water for self-purification. A practice that supports self-discipline and matches the reform sentiment of the time.
Wendell Phillips - As a young lawyer, Philips was converted to the anti-slavery cause by William Lloyd Garrison. He became one of the most vocal supporters of the abolitionist movement.
William Lloyd Garrison - Inspired by the religious revivals of the Second Great Awakening, Garrison became a ardent abolitionist. Through his speeches and writings in the Liberator, Garrison argued for the immediate abolition of slavery based on moral wrongs. He also advocated for the participation of women in the movement.
William Still - William Still was an abolitionist and child of ex-slaves from Pennsylvania.
Wilmot Proviso - Proposal in Congress, made by David Wilmot, that forbid slavery in all of the new territories acquired from Mexico as a result of the Mexican American war. The proposal passed in the House twice but never passed the Senate.