Colonial America (You Choose: Historical Eras)


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The Settlement Process

While abolitionism gained momentum in the s, support for slavery was still strong. I thanked God, and took courage, earnestly desiring that thousands may adopt thy language, and be prepared to meet the Martyr's doom, rather than give up the principles you i. Abolitionists have adopted.


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The ground upon which you stand is holy ground: never — never surrender it. If you surrender it, the hope of the slave is extinguished, and the chains of his servitude will be strengthened a hundred fold.


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Stories of daring escapes from slavery were circulated as a means of winning support for the abolitionist crusade. The story of "Box Brown," who shipped himself from Virginia to Philadelphia in a box, was but one of many tales of heroic efforts to achieve freedom. The collection includes a song Brown is reported to have sung as he stepped from his confinement upon arrival at Philadelphia. In , controversy over the admission of Kansas to the union divided the nation and led to what was commonly known as "Bleeding Kansas.

A Keyword Search using the term free Kansas will produce a number of documents relating to the issue of Kansas's admission to the union. The sectional crisis erupted in another episode of violence at Harpers Ferry, Virginia, in John Brown, intending to promote a slave uprising, was captured and tried for treason.

When sentenced to death, Brown addressed the court:. The American Anti-Slavery Society, under the leadership of William Lloyd Garrison, passed a resolution calling upon abolitionists to show support for Brown and conduct a "moral demonstration" against slavery on the day set aside for his execution.

As the nation appeared on the verge of a war, senator John Crittenden of Kentucky proposed what came to be known as the Crittenden Compromise. The proposal called for a series of amendments to the Constitution that would have reinstated the Missouri Compromise line, prohibited the abolition of slavery on federal land, insured the interstate transportation of slaves, and secured the right of the government to acquire territory in Africa or South America for the colonization of free Blacks.

The collection also presents a letter critical of a compromise to insure the continuation of slavery. Conducting a Keyword Search using secession will produce documents both for and against secession from the Union. The collection also includes a number of documents on the Civil War.

Conduct a Keyword Search using Civil War as your search term; such a search will identify a variety of broadsides, songs, and pamphlets on the war including announcements for a bounty paid for enlistment, recruitment posters, and a call for patriotic women to meet to devise a plan to give comfort to soldiers. War department, Washington. April 20, The headline of an extra edition of the Newburyport Massachusetts Herald on April 15, , announced, "Appalling Circumstance!

The President Dead! Escape of the Murderer! Attempt on the life of Secretary Seward. Wilkes Booth, the Actor, the Assassin. New President Andrew Johnson, following Lincoln's lead, called for the readmission of the former Confederate states to the Union. The provisional governor of North Carolina issued a proclamation calling for a state convention, one of the prerequisites for readmission.

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Read the proclamation and pay particular attention to the part of the proclamation he addresses "To the colored people of the State," which is excerpted below. Providence has willed that the very means adopted to render your servitude perpetual, should be His instruments for releasing you from bondage. It now remains for you, aided as you will be by the superior intelligence of the white race, and cheered by the sympathies of all good people, to decide whether the freedom thus suddenly bestowed upon you, will be a blessing to you or a source of injury I have no prejudice against you.

On the contrary, while I am a white man, and while my lot is with my own color, yet I sympathize with you as the weaker race. From " Proclamation of William W. Women were a major part of several reform movements of the s and early s. These reform movements sought to promote basic changes in American society, including the abolition of slavery, education reform, prison reform, women's rights, and temperance opposition to alcohol. A National Temperance Circular ca.

Our country is now harboring a fatal enemy; cherishing a plague of dreadful malignity; submitting to a tax which brings no increase to our treasury, while it perpetuates poverty, misery and crime. To prove this, let us state a few facts which may be relied on.

America's True History of Religious Tolerance | History | Smithsonian

Whatever may be said in favor of the temperate use of ardent spirits, if that indefinite line could ever be drawn, facts will show incontestibly, that the excessive use of them is the severest scourge with which our nation is visited: and you know that all drunkenness commences in the moderate use of them. Ardent spirit destroys health: ardent spirit creates idleness: ardent spirit ruins character: ardent spirit makes paupers: ardent spirit makes criminals: ardent spirit brutalizes men: ardent spirit destroys domestic happiness: ardent spirit ensures premature death: ardent spirit makes three-fourths of the business and expense of our criminal courts, jails and alms-houses: ardent spirit throws an immense tax on a christian community to support vice: ardent spirit unfits thousands and tens of thousands for the duties of this life and exposes them to the lawful retribution of the next As the Grimke letter quoted earlier suggested, women were active in the abolitionist movement.

Some cite the fact that women were not allowed to participate in the debates at the World Anti-Slavery Convention as the event that launched the women's rights movement. Approximately women and 40 men met and adopted the "Seneca Falls Declaration of Sentiments" modeled on the Declaration of Independence , which called for political and economic rights for women.

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The effort to gain the vote for women took 70 years and engaged thousands of women. An American Time Capsule contains a number of documents on the question of women's suffrage; the following are a few examples from people on both sides of the issue:. Read several of the documents listed above or others that you locate using a Keyword Search. Learn about another reform movement in the late s or early s by searching the collection.

What problem was the reform movement trying to solve? To what extent was the reform movement successful? From the documents in the collection, can you discern whether women were active participants in the reform movement? In the later nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the United States became increasingly involved in world affairs. For years, the United States had observed with alarm Spain's repression of insurgents in Cuba. In a Fourth of July speech in , Congressman Gerrit Smith outlined the history of Spanish domination of the island and called for U.

From year to year, Spain has, under the terrors and tortures of the lash and under other terrors and tortures, drawn from poor Cuba all that she could possibly be made to yield. Spanish hunger has never ceased to feed on Cuban fatness.

But it is only in the last five years that the sufferings and sorrows of Cuba have reached their climax Now, why is it that our Government has not lived up to the requirements of its own law? Why is it that it has suffered vessels of war to go from our shipyard against the Cubans, and, this too, whilst sparing no pains to shut out all pity and all succor from these oppressed and outraged brethren?

I hope it is for some worthier reason than to propitiate a nation by helping her to sacrifice her colony. Nevertheless, what good reason can we plead for helping Spain to prolong slavery in Cuba and to carry on wholesale murder there? When the Cubans rebelled in the s and the Spanish reacted with brutal force, Americans were again angered.

The explosion of the U. Through the early years of the twentieth century, the United States became increasing involved in world affairs. However, as war threatened to erupt in Europe, Americans sought refuge in a policy of isolation. The proposal pre-dated President Woodrow Wilson's call for a League of Nations to prevent future wars as part of his "Fourteen Points.

The American Revolution - OverSimplified (Part 1)

As President Wilson faced the growing possibility of U. Numerous pamphlets and flyers were circulated to enlist popular support for World War I.

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Native American societies before contact

Richard H. Anti-German war propaganda encouraged support for U. President Woodrow Wilson gave an address on July 26, , in which he denounced mob violence. Germany has outlawed herself among the nations because she has disregarded the sacred obligations of law and has made lynchers of her armies. Lynchers emulate her disgraceful example.


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  8. I, for my part, am anxious to see every community in America rise above that level with pride and a fixed resolution which no man or set of men can afford to despise. We proudly claim to be the champions of democracy. If we really are, in deed and in truth, let us see to it that we do not discredit our own. I say plainly that every American who takes part in the action of a mob or gives it any sort of countenance is no true son of this great democracy, but its betrayer, and does more to discredit her by that single disloyalty to her standards of law and of right than the words of her statesmen or the sacrifices of her heroic boys in the trenches can do to make suffering peoples believe her to be their savior.

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    How shall we commend democracy to the acceptance of other peoples, if we disgrace our own by proving that it is, after all, no protection to the weak? In , shortly after the end of World War I, the District of Columbia Anti-Lynching Committee circulated a broadside calling attention to the 3, lynchings in the United States since the end of Reconstruction.

    The tension between involvement in world affairs, particularly global conflicts, and isolationism persisted when war again broke out in Europe. President Franklin Roosevelt's State of the Union address to Congress, January 3, , called attention to the administration's domestic and foreign policy achievements and warned of the growing turmoil in Europe.

    Actually these qualities had roots that reached back to the one hundred and two sick and sea-weary "Pilgrims" who traveled to Cape Cod from Leyden and Plymouth. Coming under the auspices of the London Virginia Company and thus destined for settlement in Virginia, their ship, the famous Mayflower, made its landfall far to the north.

    After some weeks of exploring, the colonists decided not to make the trip to Virginia but to remain where they were. They chose Plymouth harbor as a site for their colony, and though the rigors of the first winter were severe, the settlement survived. Even while Plymouth struggled for existence, other settlements were planted nearby.

    Colonial America (You Choose: Historical Eras) Colonial America (You Choose: Historical Eras)
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