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National Anti-Slavery Convention Essay Sample

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National Anti-Slavery Convention Essay Sample

Before the 1820s, many democratic ideals were not present. African Americans and women were still seen as inferior to white men; education wasn’t a requirement nor was it available to many individuals; alcohol was able to be consumed as when pleased and excessively; and the mentally unhealthy were treated as criminals. Government was run under a federalist system stating that states and provinces share power with a national government. Federalism was strong in the time before the 1800s but soon died out after and the nation became a democracy. Democratic ideals were not yet assembled until after reform movements. Reform movements greatly led to an expansion of democratic ideals from 1825-1855.

Reform movements including anyone other than white males were bound to influence the democratic ideal of equality. One of the greatest attempts to extend equality for African Americans was through the Declaration of the National Anti-Slavery Convention from the abolition movement held on December 14th od 1833. African Americans were used by white males as items to trade and treated as they were not humans. They were put in harsh conditions and had to obey strict circumstances (Doc. 1). William Lloyd Garrison wrote this document in hopes to present it to slaveholders and states to ban the idea of slavery.

Thus he was against the idea of slavery, especially since he was an abolitionist who believed in a rapid emancipation. Other significant attempts to extend equality include those of the rights of women. Men were believed to be superior and more qualified than women to run the family and so, men gave women no right as implied by Elizabeth Cady Stanton in her Declaration of Rights and Sentiments of 1848 in attempt to redeem rights of women. (Doc. 6). The Declaration was written in response from the Seneca Falls Convention where they demanded their right to be represented as public speakers of women’s rights. It was seen that women are just as equal as men by Stanton. Along the same line, Frances Gage supports that the North implies women should be helped and treated gently yet in the South they are to work as slaves (Doc. 7).

She speaks at the Akron Women’s Convention in attempt to gain rights that are seen in other regions for women as another public speaker for women\’s’ rights. These attempted changes in rights to be treated the same proved to be significant as they encouraged the democratic ideal of equality. Reform movements also created the idea in the pursuit of happiness. By banning the consumption of alcohol, the Temperance movement allowed for people to exert the pursuit of happiness by quitting what could lead to a dysfunctional life and even death as seen portrayed in The Drunkard’s Progress (Doc. 4).

This work of art is intended to target drunkards to quit and become connected with their families. It believes alcohol could lead to the separation of family and thus happiness. Furthermore, the case of the mentally ill provided as a great hidden event that established the democratic ideal of the pursuit of happiness. By attempting to change the way that the mentally ill were treated, Dorothea Dix allowed them to pursue happiness by treating them kindly and giving them an option of how they would like to live their lives instead of being treated for years as criminals until finally something works (Doc. 5). As an activist, Dix surely was pointing this to change the way mentally ill were treated. She was against the punishment and cruelty and treating like criminals.

Moreover, reform movements created the idea of liberty and diversity by showing that all people deserved the same things. Ralph Waldo Emerson makes the point that events such as religion and school shouldn’t just be offered to the former man but as well as everyone else (Doc. 2). Only white males were privileged to these types of events and as the leader of the transcendentalist movement and a lecturer, he believed all should be allowed to perform the same activities as white males and therefore create a diversity and liberty within the people. Along the same lines, Horace Mann attempted to acquire education for all children and for the diversity to be a plus (Doc. 3). As an educational reformer, it is clear that he wants to create a program for all types of children. By asking for all people to be allowed the same chances/opportunities.

Each and everyone of these reform movements ranging from the Abolition Movement to the Temperance Movement helped to establish democratic ideals. By attempting to change the way that African Americans and women are treated created the democratic ideal of equality. Pursuit of happiness was established by the Temperance movement as well as the case of the mentally ill movement by changing the way people treated a human body and therefore creating a healthier, happier self. Finally, by asking for everyone to be allowed to participate in religion and school and trade, etc., this provided diversity and liberty to be created by seeing all different races of children working in school together as well as men working together. All these reforms clearly demonstrate and contribute to the makings of democratic ideals.

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