Twelfth Week: First Reforms

The First Reforms unit covers three days of class time (suggested) and begins with a look at the growth of the women's rights movement in America, following the Industrial Revolution. Then we examine the other major reform events of the antebellum era, especially abolition but including prison, school and mental health eforms. A third optional day deals with labor unions and immigration. Time period: 1815 to 1860.  

The First Reforms unit contains three sections:
the Women's Rights looks at the movement and the Seneca Falls Convention
the The Abolitionists section explains the growth of the anti-slavery movement.
the Worker's Rights is optional (time permitting)

Go to each section's home page to see a further breakdown into daily lesson plans. 

  • After the War of 1812, the United States improves its infrastructure with canals and roads, allowing an American Industrial Revolution to take place. 
  • Examine the impact Andrew Jackson had on his party and on the country. Jackson represents the voice of the common man in American politics.  
  • Beginning in the 1820's, American activists seek to improve the rights of women and workers while abolitionists focus on freeing the slaves.  
  • During the Antebellum Era, population and economic pressures kept Americans moving westward - eventually resulting in the Mexican-American War. 
  • During the 1850's, the various slavery compromises became unworkable. A succession of weak Presidents were unable to bring the nation together.
  • The first major war fought during the Industrial Age, the American Civil War sees the end of state's rights and the beginning of true federal power.