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Social Movements/Influential People of the Antebellum Period

  • William Lloyd Garrison

    William Lloyd Garrison
    Garrison was was born on December 10, 1805, in Newburyport, Massachusetts. He became an abolitionist/social reformer who used the media and speeches to gain followers, and he inspired other abolitionist speakers such as Frederick Douglass. In 1831, Garrison published “The Liberator,” which was an anti-slavery newspaper in Boston, MA.
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    Whig Party

    The Whig Party was founded in 1833 by Henry Clay, and is rooted primarily/formed from the National Republican Party and Anti-Masonic Party. The party was essentially created to oppose the Jacksonian Democrats, and they believed in national banking, protective tariffs, and federal aid to states' internal struggles. Whigs in the North, known as the Conscience Whigs, were particularly against slavery, and later on contributed to the formation of the Republican Party.
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    Antebellum Period Leading to the Civil War

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    Gag Rule

    With the increase of abolitionists and slavery awareness in America, more and more petitions were sent to the House of Representatives to abolish slavery. Due to this, the House implemented the “gag rule,” which tabled/delayed action on anti-slavery petitions before even hearing them. The rule was later repealed on December 4, 1844.
  • Frederick Douglass

    Frederick Douglass
    Douglass was an escaped slave, abolitionist, and orator in the Antebellum period. In 1845, he published his “Narrative,” which essentially was an autobiography of his life from the moment he was born into slavery, to the point he escaped to the North for freedom.
  • California Gold Rush

    California Gold Rush
    In January of 1848, James W. Marshall discovered flakes of gold while in the process of building a milldam in Coloma, California. Word spread to other areas of California, and by mid-1848, people flooded in from Monterey and San Fransisco in hopes of finding gold. The news of gold also caused hundreds of thousands of migrant Americans and foreigners to migrate to California. By the end of the Gold Rush in 1855, about 300,000 migrants had been brought to California in search of gold.
  • Seneca Falls Convention

    Seneca Falls Convention
    About 240 people met in Seneca Falls, New York, to discuss Women’s rights. 40 of them were men, including Frederick Douglass. Abolitionists and Quakers Elizabeth C. Stanton and Lucretia Mott promoted the “Seneca Falls Declaration of Sentiments,” which had the purpose of increasing Women’s rights and respect toward women in America. The convention lasted from July 18 to July 19, 1848.
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    Free-Soil Movement/Party

    The Free-Soil Party was an anti-slavery party in the new Western states, founded by other political parties, such as the Whigs and the Liberty Party. White farmers and men an women from the Great Lakes joined the party, along with abolitionists such as Frederick Douglass, to give natural rights to people of color. By 1854, most members of the Free-Soil Party had already joined the newly formed Republican Party, which led to the party’s downfall.
  • Harriet Tubman

    Harriet Tubman
    Tubman was a black abolitionist who was born into slavery in Maryland in 1820, but escaped to the North in 1849. She then went on to become one of the “Conductors” of the Underground Rialroad, leading more slaves to freedom in the North.
  • Harriet Beecher Stowe

    Harriet Beecher Stowe
    Stowe was a female abolitionist who published the book “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” in 1852, which covered topics concerning treatment of slaves and pushed for abolition of slavery. In just its first year of being published, over 500,000 copies of the book were sold! It became one of the most popular books of the 19th century, next to the Bible.
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    Know-Nothing Movement/Party

    The Know-Nothing Party, also known as the American Party, was founded in 1855 by Lewis Charles Levin. This was an American nativist party that opposed immigration and the practice of Catholicism, and it was created to prevent immigrants and Catholics from being elected into office. Since the party focused more on anti-immigration/Catholicism instead of taking a stand on slavery which was more of a relevant issue, they were declined by the presidential election of 1860, causing their downfall.