Women's Reform Movement In The 1800s

The 1800s was not a time period where all Americans were equal. White males held more rights than any other race and gender. To protest against unjust treatment, abolitionists, African Americans, women, and those who wanted to see a change in society and better treatment of all people, organized reform movements to bring awareness to certain issues. During the Second Great Awakening in the 19th century, the reform movements brought about major change for marginalized groups of people. The purpose of this was to make life better for the average American. The abolition movement, the women’s rights movement, the education reform movement, and the prison reform movement all had major impacts on the U.S. These movements took years and lots of help …show more content…
The fight for women to be complete equals to men is still going on, but the efforts of the women of the late 1840s has helped change the status of women in several ways. When the abolition movement was going on, women wanted to get involved and help put an end to slavery. They wanted to speak out to public crowds and participate in the movement. Unfortunately, they were not allowed to speak to public crowds that included men. They would be humiliated and threatened for “not staying in their place” for even attempting to speak to mixed groups (The Anti-Slavery and Woman Rights Movements). Due to that, they had to form separate groups for women only (Reform Movements: Women 's Rights). Women found it unfair that they could not be more directly involved in reform movements. Early women leaders of the anti-slavery movement and the women’s movement were sisters Sarah and Angelina Grimke. But, they had to fight and prove themselves, more so than men, to get involved in the abolition movement (Grimké, Angelina and Sarah). Growing up as a part of a wealthy, white family and living on a plantation, Sarah and Angelina witnessed first hand the horrors of slavery. From a young age, they were uncomfortable with the idea of their own family owning slaves, slavery in general, and the social norms that women were obliged to follow. Sarah was very intelligent and was disappointed by the fact that she could not follow in her brother’s foot steps and attend law school, simply because she was a female. By 1827, both Angelina and Sarah converted to the Quaker religion because they greatly appreciated the fact that the Quakers saw slavery as evil and advocated against it. While in Philadelphia, Sarah studied to become a clergy member, up until she realized that the Quakers had only professed gender equality and disapproved of her ambitious attitude (Grimké,

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