In the mid 1800, a growing number of Americans both whites and blacks were speaking out against slavery. Many felt like achieving liberty and equality was ending slavery. The abolitionist movement began, because of the inhumane treatments of slaves. Abolitionists still wanted to end slavery in the United States. Many abolitionist spoke out against slavery such as Angelina and Sarah Grimke. Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth and most famously Harriet Tubman who helped more than 300 slaves to safety on the Underground Railroad.
In 1840, Lucretia Mott & Elizabeth Cody Stanton attended the World Antislavery Convention in London. During the convention, these two women weren't allowed to speak out about slavery just because they were female. The two were furious about this and the other inequalities women face such as not being able to vote or hold office, no law against women being abused by their husbands, and etc. Mott and Stanton decided to host a national women's right's convention in New York. The organizers of the Convention modeled their proposal after the Declaration of Independence, naming it the Declaration of Sentiments. The convention now called the Seneca Falls Convention demanded equality for women at work, school, and etc. This was the start of the women's rights movement. Abolitionists like Douglass were active members as well. Slowly, people like Susan B. Anthony made progress and by 1920, they achieved women's suffrage.
A Boston teacher by the name of Dorothea Dix agreed to teach a Sunday School at a Jail. At the time she didn't realize that her kindness would lead to the reform of the treatment of the mentally ill. Dix was overwhelmed by the treatment of inmates in the prison, some prisoners bound in chains, locked up in cages, beaten and much more atrocities. A large number of people were imprisoned for no valid reason other than they were deemed insane by the government. After touring other jails Dix brought up the situation taking place at the prisons to the state legislature, this then caused a reform of the prison systems, new places for the mentally ill and children, and nicer treatment and overall conditions of the prisons.
In the 1800s, only a few children attended school because it was of the expenses. Horace Mann, also dubbed "father of American public schools", tried to change this practice. Mann was a head of the state board of education in Massachusetts. He spoke to people about the importance of public schools in producing an educated country. Reformers saw education as a way of solving some of the adversity in society, such as high crime rates and poverty. Under Horace's guidance, Massachusetts' citizens voted to pay taxes for better built schools, higher salaries for teachers, and open new schools for teacher training. Mann's ideas were spread and states were making more public schools. Despite this, not every child had a public education.
Alcohol abuse was widely spread among adolescents, men and woman. Reformers limked alcohol abuse to crimes, the breakup of famlies, and mental illness. In the late 1800s a movement began called the temperance movemnt, the reason behind this movement was to ban the sale and drinking of alcohol. By 1850 Maine was the first to ban the sale of alcohol then other states followed. Even though these laws would soon be repealed the movement would gain strength.
Since horrible conditions were in the workplace, a campaign began to decrease the number of work hours to just 8 per day. This reform also began to improve child labor laws and eventually, labor unions were made to protect workers and women in Lowell, Massachusetts.