Chapter 8 - A Push for Reform


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Content: Reform in America
1820-1860
Chapter 8
New Movements in America
Early Immigration and Urban Reform
Women and Reform
Seneca Falls Convention
Slavery and Abolition


U.S. I Learning Standards:
USI.29 Describe the rapid growth of slavery in the South after 1800 and analyze slave life and resistance on plantations and farms across the South, as well as the impact of the cotton gin on the economics of slavery and Southern agriculture. (H)
Seminal Primary Documents to Read: Frederick Douglass’s Independence Day speech at Rochester, New York (1852)

USI.30 Summarize the growth of the American education system and Horace Mann’s campaign for free compulsory public education. (H)

USI.31 Describe the formation of the abolitionist movement, the roles of various abolitionists, and the response of southerners and northerners to abolitionism. (H)
Frederick Douglass
William Lloyd Garrison
Sojourner Truth
Harriet Tubman
Theodore Weld

USI.32 Describe important religious trends that shaped antebellum America. (H)
the increase in the number of Protestant denominations
the Second Great Awakening
the influence of these trends on the reaction of Protestants to the growth of Catholic immigration

USI.33 Analyze the goals and effect of the antebellum women’s suffrage movement. (H)
the 1848 Seneca Falls convention
Susan B. Anthony
Margaret Fuller
Lucretia Mott
Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Seminal Primary Documents to Read: the Seneca Falls Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions (1848)

USI.34 Analyze the emergence of the Transcendentalist movement through the writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau. (H)


UBD in development


Flight to Freedom Game

Register to play. Use your login information from the Boston Massacre game we played in the fall.









Connections to today:
  • Religion: the growth of the religious right, the growth of “babyboomer churches” which are more modern and casual, the growth of the Mormons in the U.S.
  • Slavery: for this topic, you can generalize to modern day issues with African American rights (affirmative action, a discussion of compensation for past wrongs), or focus on other minority groups which are not receiving a living wage for their work (migrant farm workers, third world sweatshops owned by American companies).
  • Temperance: the war on drugs, legalization of controlled substances, efforts to stop drunk driving, government regulation of tobacco.
  • Education: charter schools, accountability, national standards, block scheduling, Paideia, inequalities in school funding.
  • Utopian Communities: look at modern ideal communities like the one sponsored by Disney in Florida, communal living arrangements like those developments near Chapel Hill, or look at the growth of suburbia, including those communities with strict land use covenants, sign ordinances, etc.
  • Women’s Rights: Title IX funding, single gender classes, admission into military academies, sexual harassment, National Organization for Women.
  • Treatment of the Mentally Ill: Americans with Disabilities Act, poor regulation of nursing home facilities, prison reforms.


Abolitionist Speech - write your own




Share your speech

- In your Home Group, each student must read their speech out loud. After each student has read their speech, pick the best one to present in front of the class.

- Each Home Group winner will present their speech in front of the entire class. The class will then vote for the best speech.