About This Chapter
Everyday Life in Antebellum America - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives
This chapter can give you a glimpse into the economic and cultural developments impacting Americans in the first half of the 19th century. Use the video lessons to explore characteristics of distinctly American literature and art, causes of urbanization and factors spurring citizens to reform social ills. You can also find out how steamboats and railroads encouraged settlement in the West. By the end of this chapter, you should be familiar with the following:
- American cultural and social movements in the early 19th century
- Impact of developments in industry and transportation
- Differences between Northern and Southern economies
- Living conditions in urbanized areas
- Factors contributing to the spread of slavery
- Significant figures in the abolitionist movement
|American Renaissance: Uniquely American Art, Literature and Culture||Explores the influence of Romanticism on literature, the popularization of landscape painting by the Hudson River School, works by transcendentalist authors like Emerson and Thoreau and the birth of utopian societies.|
|Reform Movements of the 19th Century||Discusses the origins of the temperance, education, prison and women's rights movements. Follows the growth of the abolitionist movement.|
|The Transportation Revolution: Turnpikes to Steamboats to Railroads||Shows how the advent of turnpikes, steamboats, canals and railroads shifted economic centers and changed the way goods and people were transported.|
|Economic Developments in the North: A Commercial Revolution||Outlines 19th-century inventions and the effects of industrialization on Northern and Southern economies.|
|Problems of Urbanization and Daily Life in the North||Depicts urban centers' poor living conditions and lack of workers' rights alongside the rise of labor unions. Discusses the spread of nativism and Northern racism resulting from competition for jobs in urban areas.|
|Life in the South: Ordered Society and Economy of the Southern States||Explains the significance of cotton in the Southern economy and the organization of society into a hierarchy of planters, yeoman farmers, poor whites and slaves.|
|Slavery in America: Cotton, Slave Trade and the Southern Response||Discusses the origin and spread of American slavery as well as slave codes and revolts.|
|Abolitionist Movement: Important Figures in the Fight to End Slavery||Profiles the efforts of prominent figures in the antislavery movement, including David Walker, William Lloyd Garrison, Frederick Douglass, Henry Highland Grant, Harriet Beecher Stowe and Harriet Tubman.|
1. American Renaissance: Uniquely American Art, Literature and Culture
America began creating its own distinct culture in the 1800s. Learn about popular trends in art, literature, and pop culture in the antebellum era. Also, learn how religion and utopian communes changed the way some Americans lived.
2. Reform Movements of the 19th Century
Inspired by the Second Great Awakening and Transcendentalism, Americans started a number of social reform movements in the antebellum era, including the fight against alcohol and slavery, as well as the fight for public schools, humane prisons and asylums, and women's rights.
3. The Transportation Revolution: Turnpikes to Steamboats to Railroads
In the half-century before the Civil War, America experienced a transportation revolution that improved the way people and goods crossed the nation, opened up new areas for settlement and altered the centers of economic power.
4. Economic Developments in the North: A Commercial Revolution
In the Antebellum Era, the Northern part of the United States was revolutionized by a series of innovations, triggering a shift from an agricultural to a commercial economy. These economic changes sharpened the differences between North and South.
5. Problems of Urbanization and Daily Life in the North
In the antebellum years, American cities grew. Find out why and what it was like to live in New York, Philadelphia and other Northern cities in the middle of the 19th century.
6. Life in the South: Ordered Society and Economy of the Southern States
While the North was urbanizing and industrializing, the South became more committed to its rural, leisurely lifestyle and its agricultural economy built on slave labor. Limited industry did exist, but cotton was king!
7. Slavery in America: Cotton, Slave Trade and the Southern Response
The United Sates was conceived on the idea of freedom and the rights of all people, but early on, an institution took hold that was the exact opposite of that idea. In this lesson, find out the roots of slavery in the States, how it took hold, how slaves lived, and how they resisted the bonds of slavery.
8. Abolitionist Movement: Important Figures in the Fight to End Slavery
The abolitionist movement spanned decades. Although slavery did not end peacefully, great Americans like William Lloyd Garrison, Frederick Douglass, and Harriet Beecher Stowe were some of the driving forces behind the anti-slavery movement.
Earning College Credit
Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.
To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page
Transferring credit to the school of your choice
Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.
Other chapters within the US History: Middle School course
- First Contacts in the Americas
- Settling North America & the Colonies
- The Revolutionary War
- The Making of a Nation after the American Revolution
- The Virginia Dynasty
- Jacksonian Democracy
- Manifest Destiny & American Expansion
- Buildup to the American Civil War
- The American Civil War
- After the Civil War: Reconstruction
- American Industrialization of the Late 19th Century
- The Progressive Era of the Early 20th Century
- American Imperialism & World War I
- 1920s America
- America and the Great Depression
- America and the Second World War
- Post-War and the Cold War
- Civil Rights Movements in America
- America in the 1970s
- America in the 1980s
- America from 1992 to the Present