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A

abolitionism   Abolitionists sought to end slavery. They were a varied collection of reformers and often disagreed about how to accomplish their goal. Both white reformers and many free blacks were active abolitionists.
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American Colonization Society   The American Colonization Society was founded in 1817. It purchased land in Africa (Liberia) with the intention of solving the "Negro problem" by transporting freed slaves there. Society backers were convinced that both blacks and whites would benefit from racial separation. Few blacks wished to migrate to Africa, and the society accomplished little.
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American Temperance Society   The founding of the American Temperance Society in 1826 signaled the start of a national crusade against drunkenness. Using a variety of educational techniques, the union set out to persuade people not to drink intoxicating liquor.
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B

benevolent empire   In the early nineteenth century, a pillar of middle-class life was participation in voluntary associations that were organized to do good work. Collectively these voluntary associations constituted a "benevolent empire" eager to make society over into its middle-class members' idea of how God wanted it to be.
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Brook Farm   In 1841, transcendentalist George Ripley started Brook Farm, a cooperative community. It enjoyed some popularity among New England intellectuals, but lasted only four years.
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C

Cult of True Womanhood   Early nineteenth-century male expectations of the role of women in society reflected a "cult of true womanhood." In this conception, a woman was expected to be pious, pure, submissive, and domesticated; her place was in the home and on a pedestal. This is also known as the cult of domesticity.
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D

Dix, Dorothea     In the early nineteenth century, Dix devoted herself to a campaign to improve the care of the insane. She traveled extensively inspecting asylums, prisons, and almshouses, but in the long run, her hopes for reform were not realized.
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doctrine of two spheres   In the middle-class family of early-nineteenth-century America, the wife, who had earlier shared in the family's enterprise, now left earning a living entirely to her husband. That his sphere was public and hers private, singularly devoted to the care of her husband and children, constituted the doctrine of two (or separate) spheres.
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Douglass, Frederick    Douglass was a former slave who escaped to the North and became active in the abolitionist movement. He was a determined campaigner against both slavery and racial prejudice.
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E

Emerson, Ralph Waldo    Emerson was the leading transcendentalist thinker of the early nineteenth century. Optimism and self-confidence marked his philosophy, and, like other romantics, he glorified individualism and self-reliance. He described his beliefs in "The American Scholar."
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F

Finney, Charles G.    Finney was probably the most effective of a number of charismatic evangelists who brought the Second Great Awakening to its crest in the early 1830s. He encouraged his listeners to take their salvation into their own hands and preached that salvation was available to anyone.
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G

Garrison, William Lloyd    Garrison, publisher of "The Liberator," was a radical abolitionist. He called for immediate, uncompensated emancipation of slaves and for racial equality. His confrontational tactics and extremist views repelled moderate abolitionists as well as the general public.
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Grimke, Angelina   Angelina and Sarah Grimke, sisters from South Carolina, began their public careers in the abolitionist movement. Male abolitionists objected to their prominence in the movement, and the sisters turned to advocacy of women's rights.
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Grimke, Sarah   Sarah and Angelina Grimke, sisters from South Carolina, began their public careers in the abolitionist movement. Male abolitionists objected to their prominence in the movement, and the sisters turned to advocacy of women's rights.
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H

Hawthorne, Nathaniel    New England's Puritan heritage and its continuing influence fascinated romantic novelist Nathaniel Hawthorne. His books, including "The Scarlet Letter," analyzed the themes of guilt and pride.
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L

Liberator   William Lloyd Garrison published "The Liberator," an influential abolitionist newspaper. In its columns, Garrison called for the immediate abolition of slavery and the treatment of blacks as equals.
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Liberty party   When New York businessmen Arthur and Lewis Tappan broke with William Lloyd Garrison over issues of abolitionists' involvement in politics and the role of women in the movement, they organized the Liberty party. The party nominated James Birney for president in 1840 and 1844, but he garnered few votes.
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M

Mann, Horace   Horace Mann was, with Henry Barnard, a leader of the common school movement in early-nineteenth-century America. He became the first secretary of the Massachusetts School Board, and he promoted public education for all children as training for both employment and citizenship.
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Mott, Lucretia    Like many women who began their public careers in the abolitionist movement, Mott subsequently turned to advocate women's rights. She and Elizabeth Cady Stanton organized the Seneca Falls Convention for women's rights in 1848.
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O

Owen, Robert    Owen was a British utopian socialist who believed in economic and political equality, and considered competition debasing. He founded New Harmony, Indiana, a commune where members challenged the sexual and religious mores of Jacksonian America. It became a costly failure.
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P

phrenology   Phrenology was a popular "science" of the early nineteenth century that alleged that character type could be determined by a "reading" of the bumps on one's head.
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S

The Scarlet Letter   Nathaniel Hawthorne's "The Scarlet Letter" (1850), a grim yet sympathetic analysis of adultery, was one of his many depictions of New England culture and history. It was a reminder to early-nineteenth-century perfectionists of the ultimate futility of their crusade.
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Second Great Awakening   The Second Great Awakening began as an emotional counteroffensive to the deism identified with the Enlightenment. Second Great Awakening ministers assaulted Calvinism by stressing the mercy, love, and benevolence of God. They emphasized the ability of people to control their own fate, even achieve their own salvation.
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Seneca Falls Convention   The Seneca Falls Convention was held in 1848. It drafted the "Declaration of Sentiments," patterned on the Declaration of Independence, but declared that "all men and women are created equal."
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Stanton, Elizabeth Cady   Stanton and Lucretia Mott organized the Seneca Falls Convention for women's rights in 1848. Stanton campaigned for women's right to vote, own property, attend college, and enter the professions.
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T

temperance   Temperance—moderation or abstention in the use of alcoholic beverages—attracted many advocates in the early nineteenth century. They waged a national crusade against drunkenness. Advocates used both moral appeals and the coercive power of law to reduce consumption of intoxicating liquor, and they enjoyed considerable success.
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Thoreau, Henry David    Thoreau, like Ralph Waldo Emerson, was a leading literary romantic and transcendentalist in the early nineteenth century. He admired raw nature and the simple life, and he valued the freedom of the self-reliant individual. He wrote "Walden" and "Civil Disobedience."
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transcendentalism   Transcendentalism was the fullest expression of early-nineteenth-century romanticism. It was a mystical, intuitive way of looking at life that subordinated facts to feelings. Transcendentalists argued that humans could transcend reason and intellectual capacities by having faith in their own intuition and in the fundamental benevolence of the universe. They were complete individualists.
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W

Weld, Theodore Dwight   Weld was the spokesman for a moderate view of abolitionism. He supported the "immediate" abolition of slavery gradually achieved, and, unlike William Lloyd Garrison, was willing to engage in political activity to accomplish that goal.
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