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Women's Rights Movement and Antebellum Reform

  • Educational Reform in the antebellum era focused on expanding opportunities for the public, and as a result, the literacy rate increased to 94% in the North and 83% of the white pop. in South (58% of total southern population).
  • Horace Mann, the first secretary of the MA Board of Ed., was the greatest (early) ed. reformer and reorganized the school system, lengthened the academic year to six months, doubled teacher salaries, enriched the curriculum, & introduced professional teacher training, educating Native Americans.
  • The Rehabilitation and Asylum movements grew as well: penitentiaries & mental institutions were designed to create a proper environment for inmates; Dorothea Dix began reforming methods for treating the mentally ill.
  • Many female abolitionists like the Grimké sisters used Christian & Enlightenment principles to claim equal civic rights for women.
  • During the 1840s women’s rights activists, often with support from affluent men, tried to strengthen the legal rights of married women; 3 states enacted Married Women’s Property Acts between 1839 and 1845, and an 1848 NY statute gave women full legal control over the property she brought to a marriage
  • Led by Lucretia Mott, Stanton, and Susan B. Anthony, a convention was held in Seneca Falls, NY in 1848 where they created a “Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions” that was patterned on the Dec. of Independence; it rejected the idea that women should be assigned different or “separate” spheres.
  • Many women took leadership positions like: Lucy Stone (kept maiden name) who was a famous lecturer on women’s rights, Emma Willard, founder of the Troy Female Seminary in 1821, and Catherine Beecher, founder of Hartford Seminary in 1823, who worked on behalf of women’s ed.
  • More about Seneca Falls Convention:
  • The Declaration of Sentiments:
  • More about the Grimké sisters:
  • Sojourner Truth:

Women's Rights Movement and Antebellum Reform

Lecture Slides are screen-captured images of important points in the lecture. Students can download and print out these lecture slide images to do practice problems as well as take notes while watching the lecture.

  • Intro 0:00
  • Overview 0:07
  • Education Reforms 1:05
    • Horace Mann
    • Reorganized the School System
    • Literacy Rate
  • Experimental Schools 5:17
    • Self-Realization
    • Perkins School
    • Social Value and Democratize the U.S.
  • Rehabilitation 6:19
    • The Asylum Movement
    • Dorothea Dix
  • The Rise of Feminism 8:09
    • Sarah and Angelina Grimke
    • Other Reformers
    • Married Women's Property Acts
  • Seneca Falls 10:40
    • Society of Friends
    • Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions
    • The Women's Right
  • Declaration of Sentiments 13:38
  • Quakers Influence Feminist Movement 14:36
    • Sexual Equality
    • Stanton Were Quakers
    • Lucy Stone
    • Emma Willard
    • Catherine Beecher
  • Feminist Style of Clothing 17:39
    • Bloomer
    • Amelia Bloomer
  • Example 1 18:54
  • Example 2 21:08
  • Example 3 23:30