New Movements in America
By the mid-1800s, many people began to seek answers to problems that had plagued American society. Abolitionists formed anti-slavery groups, printed newspapers, gave speeches, and encouraged laws to end slavery in the United States. Similarly, women began to demand equal rights in society. They demanded suffrage, property rights, and access to an equal education. Others demanded reforms for prisons, mental health institutions, and education. The United States experienced societal growing pains as it began to emerge as a major power.
Narrative of Frederick Douglass
Frederick Douglass grew up in the South under slavery. Despite laws that banned African Americans from learning to read and write, Douglass managed to teach himself both. After a lifetime of depravity, he made several attempts to escape to the North before he finally succeeded. Douglass went on to become one of the leading figures of the abolitionist movement and civil rights. His autobiography tells of his early life under slavery. It is a book with a message to inform the North of the cruelty of the South's "peculiar institution." I have edited the original text to make it more accessible to a younger audience.