American Idealism and Reform 1820-1860

Glossary of Key Terms

American Temperance Society: Founded in Boston in 1826 as part of a growing effort of nineteenth-century reformers to limit alcohol consumption.

American Anti-Slavery Society: Abolitionist society founded by William Lloyd Garrison, who advocated the immediate abolition of slavery.

Gag Resolution: Prohibited debate or action on anti-slavery appeals in Congress.

moral suasion: abolitionist groups appealed to the morality of those who favored slavery to try to make them change their minds about the issue.

Mormons: Religious followers of Joseph Smith, who founded a communal, oligarchic religious order officially known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

 Second Great Awakening: Religious revival characterized by emotional mass "camp meetings" and widespread conversion.

Shakers: Called "Shakers" for their lively dance worship, they emphasized simple, communal living and were all expected to practice celibacy.

transcendentalism: Antebellum literary and intellectual movement that emphasized individualism and self-reliance, predicated upon a belief that each person possesses an “innerlight” that can point the way to truth and direct contact with God.

The Liberator: Anti-slavery newspaper published by William Lloyd Garrison.

Women’s Rights Convention:  Gathering of feminist activists in Seneca Falls, New York, where Elizabeth Cady Stanton read her “Declaration of Sentiments,” stating that “all men and women are created equal.”