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NCHS-4-4

The sources and character of cultural, religious, and social reform movements in the antebellum period


A.  The student understands the abolitionist movement

B.  The student understands how Americans strived to reform society and create a distinct culture


Resources:

Colonial City: Revolutionary Battleground
Resource Type: E-Seminar

Relevant transcripts:
Slavery: A Business Necessity

Relevant interactive tools:
The Draft Riots
The Draft Riots

Urban Crisis: Disease, Crime, and Space
Resource Type: E-Seminar

Relevant transcripts:
Poverty's Fault

Abolitionism and Antislavery
Resource Type: E-Seminar

Relevant pages:
Introduction
The Rise of Abolition: An Age of Reform
The Rise of Abolition: Early Abolitionist Leaders
The Rise of Abolition: The Appeal To Public Opinion
The Rise of Abolition: Women and African Americans
The Abolitionist Position: Core Concepts
The Abolitionist Position: Black Abolitionists' Ideas
The Abolitionist Position: Opposition To Abolition
The Expansion Issue: Slavery in New Territories?

City Problems: Poverty and Slums
Resource Type: Document-Based Question
Exploring the cholera epidemic in mid-nineteenth century New York City, this selection of primary sources provides a case-study of immigration, urbanization (e.g., slums such as the Five Points), and social and moral reform that can be applied to the study of any city in the industrialized world.

The Five Points Slum
Resource Type: Primary Source
Five Points, the great slum of antebellum New York, was located at the convergence of Worth, Baxter, and Park Streets in present-day lower Manhattan. Its residents suffered terribly during the cholera epidemic of 1832.

Report of the Magdalen Society
Resource Type: Primary Source
Led by John Robert McDowell, a Princeton divinity student, the Magdalen Society was founded in 1831 to help reform prostitutes living in the Five Points slum.

Cholera Epidemic Editorial
Resource Type: Primary Source
As far away as New Hampshire, editorials denounced the New York cholera epidemic of 1832 as divine retribution for decadence and sin.

Sunshine and Shadow in New York
Resource Type: Primary Source
Sunshine and Shadow in New York, a mid-nineteenth-century publication, depicts New York City as two polar societies, one affluent and vibrant, and one poor and diseased.

Compromise Between the North and South
Resource Type: Classroom Simulation
In this dramatic simulation students will explore the possibility of an eleventh-hour compromise between the North and the South on the eve of the Civil War (1861–65). Students will understand how mounting tensions in the 1850s eventually led to the outbreak of war.

The Secession Crisis
Resource Type: Document-Based Question
This selection of primary sources allows students to interpret the Civil War as an ideological battle, pitting abolitionists against slavery's apologists, and Northerners against Southerners. Students will understand why most of the Southern states chose secession over union.

William Lloyd Garrison on Abolitionism
Resource Type: Primary Source
Before 1830 most abolitionists believed in the concept of colonization, but after that time, the abolitionist movement was transformed.

Slavery a Positive Good
Resource Type: Primary Source
John C. Calhoun was vice president of the United States (1825-32) and U.S. senator from South Carolina for most of the period from 1832 to 1850.

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl
Resource Type: Primary Source
By 1858, the former slave Harriet Jacobs had finished her autobiography, which was later edited by the famous abolitionist, Lydia Maria Child.

Frederick Douglass and his Mother
Resource Type: Primary Source
Frederick Douglass's autobiography is considered one of the classic slave narratives and was written for the abolitionist cause.

Frederick Douglass Describes a Whipping
Resource Type: Primary Source
Radical abolitionists sought to document their claims about the horrors of slavery.

Southern Society: Religion and Slavery
Resource Type: Document-Based Question
Using this DBQ, students will examine the paradoxical role of religion in the lives of slaves in the antebellum South. Different kinds of religion are explored as students confront the ways in which religion served to liberate or to oppress slaves.

Stringfellow's Biblical Justification for Slavery
Resource Type: Primary Source
In his 1860 book, Thornton Stringfellow explains what he sees as the biblical justification for slavery.

The Master-Slave Relationship
Resource Type: Document-Based Question
The recent scholarship on slavery explores the complex relationship between master and slave and re-examines the historical agency of slaves. In reading the slave narratives provided in this DBQ, students can assess how slaves tried to retain their dignity in the worst of circumstances.

Frederick Douglass on Slavery
Resource Type: Primary Source
Frederick Douglass was an escaped slave who gained fame as an orator and a writer promoting the cause of abolition. He wrote the following testimonial to the demoralizing effects of slavery in his autobiography.

City Problems: Poverty and Slums
Resource Type: Document-Based Question
Exploring the cholera epidemic in mid-nineteenth century New York City, this selection of primary sources provides a case-study of immigration, urbanization (e.g., slums such as the Five Points), and social and moral reform that can be applied to the study of any city in the industrialized world.

The Five Points Slum
Resource Type: Primary Source
Five Points, the great slum of antebellum New York, was located at the convergence of Worth, Baxter, and Park Streets in present-day lower Manhattan. Its residents suffered terribly during the cholera epidemic of 1832.

Report of the Magdalen Society
Resource Type: Primary Source
Led by John Robert McDowell, a Princeton divinity student, the Magdalen Society was founded in 1831 to help reform prostitutes living in the Five Points slum.

Petition to Have the Five Points Opened
Resource Type: Primary Source
Merchants owning property along the periphery of Five Points petitioned the municipal government in 1829 to demolish the heart of the slum by widening and extending Anthony and Cross Streets.

Cholera Epidemic Editorial
Resource Type: Primary Source
As far away as New Hampshire, editorials denounced the New York cholera epidemic of 1832 as divine retribution for decadence and sin.

Urban Society: Central Park and Social Reform
Resource Type: Document-Based Question
This microhistory of Central Park in New York City provides students with a laboratory for learning how social reformers attempted to clean the city of its slums and promote the well-being of its residents. These tools can be applied to the study of any large city.


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Historical thinking 

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