The antebellum period was an era in the history of the Southern United States until the civil war started. This era is also known as the era of reforms, especially social reforms. The northern reformers also facilitated in transforming American society in the antebellum period. Northerners were focused to improve the quality of life and therefore were more concerned about the fundamental rights if slaves and women.
Social reforms refer to the reforms that are done in an attempt to correct injustice in society. In the antebellum period Abolishing capital punishments along with abolishing imprisonment for debt, anti-slavery and the establishment of public educational institutions were the reforms that were done during the antebellum period. This era is also marked by the economic growth of the South as the people in the South saw a large expansion in the field of agriculture. However, manufacturing growth remain steady.
In the South, slavery was a common practice as more than four million people especially African-Americans were held captives and were forced into slavery. They had to work without pay and freedom. Although, some workers were paid the wages were barely cover their living expenses. As mentioned earlier, agriculture expanded on the Southside due to which cotton became the main crop and slaves were utilized in picking cotton on large fields. Owing to the inequalities faced by the slaves' many Northern people were against this practice and stand against the Southern Slave Trading.
Southern Elites also wanted to dominate the Northern people and therefore also intervened in the decisions taken by the government for other states. Eventually, some action had to be taken against these cruel elites. So, the Northern government got involved in a fight to attain the rights of poor and weak people. This lead to the start of the Civil War.
When the war ended the Federalist Party completely vanished and Northern Americans started giving their opinions and views regarding European interventions in the US and several other independent states. Thus, congress called for the American system that consisted of spending money on many big projects like banking, transportation, and communication. This system also facilitated building various factories, canals, railroads, and developed cities. In the earliest period of 19th-century industrial revolution took place due to which many factories were also built in the Northern cities. Most of the factories were producing clothes and many workers recruited included immigrant women and children from especially from Ireland and Germany.
Previously, cult domesticity law was also introduced for American women according to which married women had to stay home and raise children with almost no rights. Also, unmarried women had a few jobs only in the clothes factory or as maids in the houses of rich elites. However, in the antebellum period, many women like Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton gathered with all other women to fight for their rights such as voting. These women were also involved in the multiple movements of women's rights and slavery abolition. Owing to their efforts a constitution was passed for freeing slaves and acknowledging them as citizens while also giving them the right to vote. As congress members were not happy with the Southern politicians so they sent soldiers to the south to make the leaders sign the amendments in the constitutions. Due to this reason, Southern people started suppressing African-Americans by offering them low-grade jobs and not giving them several privileges. Despite attaining the right to vote and live freely many women and African American people had to suffer discrimination from the Southern elites. The Northern people always aimed to free prisoners but never wished themselves to be on the same level as prisoners and therefore wanted to keep an upper hand on them.
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