Throughout the history of the United States there have been many
reform movements that have molded the culture we live in today. The
rights that we as Americans enjoy today can be credited to the people
who fought for more rights and a better way of life. Two reform
movements that have changed America for the better are the
Abolitionist Movement and the Civil Rights Movement.
Around the 1820’s the feeling of legal slavery was changing in the
United States. The south depended on slaves to harvest their crops,
and the north felt that slavery was unconstitutional, unethical, and
cruel. The nation was divided and tension started mounting. The goal
of the abolitionist movement was to abolish slavery. Abolitionists
wanted equal rights for all African Americans. One historical action
taken by abolitionist was the Underground Railroad. After the Fugitive
Slave Act was passed by Congress abolitionist united and created an
underground railroad. This railroad was constructed to get slaves out
of the south by using underground tunnels and safe houses. The slaves
were provided with shelter and food during there passage. The goal was
to get as many slaves out of the south and into the north. Even
thought fugitive slaves who entered free states were still not granted
freedom the idea was to get them out of slavery and hopefully they
either were not caught or most of the time they went to Canada.
Harriet Tubman was one of the most famous “conductors” of the railroad
system. Another major historical bill passed was the Emancipation
Proclamation. During the Civil War President Abraham Lincoln took the
boldest step in ending slavery by instating the Emancipation
Proclamation. Lincoln freed all of the slaves in the rebellious
states. He did not free all slaves nor did he free slaves that were
either in the Union or states that had be taken over by the Union
Army. By freeing the slaves in rebellious states it gave the Union
more power because it had all of the African Americans on its side.
This was a very intelligent bill President Lincoln did to win the war.
Following the victory of the war by the Union President Johnson freed
all the slaves and this was the start of equal opportunities for all
men and women. This reform movement has influenced America greatly.
It was the start of equal rights and began a feeling that all are
equal under the constitution. Even thought African Americans faced
many decades of discrimination it was a stride to give them the rights
Another reform movement that also gave African Americans more rights
was the Civil Rights Movement. The 1950’s and the 1960’s were