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Freedom’s Ferment

Phases of American Social History to 1860

Author:

Alice Felt Tyler

Freedom’s Ferment

“It should be required reading for every student meeting American history for the first time in college.”

Indiana Magazine of History

Freedom’s Ferment

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Freedom’s Ferment

Alice Felt Tyler was a professor of history at the University of Minnesota.

Freedom’s Ferment

“It should be required reading for every student meeting American history for the first time in college.”

Indiana Magazine of History

Freedom’s Ferment is a book long overdue. Professor Tyler, in her study of the movements designed to democratize our institutions, has for the first time brought together the stories of the men and women who in a period of great social ferment endeavored to improve the lot of the downtrodden. Welcome and needed at any time, Freedom’s Ferment is especially welcome and needed today. It deserves wide reading. Its pleasant style, its unobtruding but useful notes, and its delightful illustrations, all continue to making the reading of the book a genuine joy.”

Merle Curti, author of The Growth of American Thought

“Their American world seemed bright and new to the planners and dreamers of a century ago. The fantastic schemes of cranks and the substantial labors of real leaders and reformers mingled in a strange and lively pattern. Alice Felt Tyler has told the story of Fourierists and abolitionists, of Millerites and suffragists, more clearly and completely and sympathetically than it has been told before. She writes pleasantly, with humor and insight. Freedom’s Ferment is fine reading, and it is full of meaning for today’s planners and dreamers - which takes in, rightly, about all of us.”

John T. Frederick, literary critic for press and radio

“A real contribution, this volume is a must for anyone interested in the social history of the United States. Or for anyone seeking an answer to Crevecoeur’s question, “What is an American?” Our idealism, utopianism, sectarian inventiveness, response to reforms, and out fertility in producing cranks were more uninhibited in 1843 than in 1943, but they are still with us, changed less in spirit than in form.”

Guy Stanton Ford, editor, American Historical Review

Freedom’s Ferment

Table of Contents

Part One. The Faith of the Young Republic, page i
Dynamic Democracy 5
COLONIAL BEGINNINGS, 5. IN THE NEW STATES, 8. CONSERVATIVE REACTION,
II. THE CONSTITUTION, 12. JEFFERSONIAN REVOLUTION, 14. ROLE OF THE
FRONTIER, 15. JACKSONIAN DEMOCRACY, 21.
Evangelical Religion 23
JONATHAN EDWARDS, 23. RATIONALISM AND RELIGION, 25. RELIGION IN NEW
ENGLAND COLLEGES, 29. MISSIONARY SOCIETIES, 31. RELIGION ON THE FRON-
TIER, 33. CAMP-MEETING REVIVALISM, 35. OBSERVERS AND CRITICS, 42.
Part Two. Cults and Utopias, page 46
Transcendentalism 47 v
TRANSCENDENTAL FAITH, 47. TRANSCENDENTAL CLUB, 50. BRONSON ALCOTT,
52. MARGARET FULLER, 54. EMERSON, 56. THOREAU, 59. THEODORE PARKER,
6l. ORESTES BROWNSON, 63. WILLIAM ELLERY CHANNING, 65.
Millennialism and Spiritualism 68
MILLERITE MILLENNIALISM, 70. THE MILLENNIAL YEAR, 74. SPIRITUALISM,
78. ANDREW JACKSON DAVIS, 80. THE FOX SISTERS, 82.
The Stake in Zion 86
EARLY LIFE OF JOSEPH SMITH, 86. THE BOOK OF MORMON, 88. THE MOR-
MON CHURCH, 93. LATTER DAY SAINTS IN OHIO, 94. DIFFICULTIES IN OHIO
AND MISSOURI, 97. JOSEPH SMITH IN ILLINOIS, IOI.
Religious Communism in America 108
REASONS FOR COMMUNISTIC ORGANIZATION, Io8. EPHRATA CLOISTER, III.
JEMIMA WILKINSON, 115. RAPPITES, 121. BETHEL AND AURORA, 125. SEPA-
RATISTS OF ZOAR, 128. AMANA SOCIETY, 130. ERIC JANSON AND BISHOP HILL,
132. NORDHOFF'S CONCLUSIONS, 138.
The Shaker Communities 140
ENGLISH ORIGINS, 141. MOTHER ANN IN AMERICA, 143. EXPANSION OF SHAK-
ERISM, 145. DOCTRINE, 146. ORGANIZATION AND GOVERNMENT, 148. WAY OF
LIFE, 150. ORDER OF WORSHIP, 155. ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, l6o.
American Utopias of Religious Origin 166
HOPEDALE COMMUNITY, 166. "TRANSCENDENTAL WILD OATS," 172. BROOK
FARM, 17*. ONEIDA COMMUNITY, 184.
Vll
Utopian Socialism in America 196
ROBERT OWEN AND NEW HARMONY, 196. FRANCES WRIGHT AND NASHOBA,
2O6. STATUS OF AMERICAN LABOR, 211. FOURIERIST PHALANXES, 21J.
ETIENNE CABETAND ICARIA, 22O.
Part Three. Humanitarian Crusades, page 225
Education and the American Faith 227
IMPROVEMENT OF THE COMMON SCHOOL, 234. VOICE OF THE OPPOSITION,
242. PRIVATE SCHOOLS, 244. PROGRESSIVE SCHOOLS, 245. EDUCATION OF
WOMEN, 250. PROGRESS OF HIGHER EDUCATION, 254. AIDS TO EDUCATION,
259.
Reform for the Criminal 265
PENAL CODES BEFORE 1815, 268. MOVEMENT FOR PRISON REFORM, 270.
RIVAL SYSTEMS, 274. IMPRISONMENT FOR DEBT, 283.
Wards of the State 286
CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTIONS, 286. POOR RELIEF, 291. EDUCATION OF DEAF-
MUTES AND THE BLIND, 294. CARE OF THE INSANE, 299.
The Temperance Crusade 308
DRINKING HABITS, 308. PROTESTS AGAINST INTEMPERANCE, 312. WORK OF
BENJAMIN RUSH, 314. ORIGINS OF THE TEMPERANCE CRUSADE, 316. DECADE
OF PROGRESS, 322. ULTRAISM VERSUS TEMPERANCE, 327. ARGUMENTS FOR
ABSTINENCE, 330. OPPONENTS OF COERCION, 335. WASHINGTONIAN MOVE-
MENT, 338. INTERNATIONAL MOVEMENT, 346. MAINE LAW, 347.
Denials of Democratic Principles 351
ANTIMASONIC MOVEMENT, 351. CATHOLICISM IN THE EARLY REPUBLIC, 358.
INCEPTION OF ANTI-CATHOLICISM, 363. ANTI-CATHOLIC LITERATURE OF THE
I#30'S, 365. PROPAGANDA PRESS AND DEBATES, 367. ANTI-CATHOLIC SOCIETIES
AND DEMONSTRATIONS, 369. IMMORALITY MOTIF, 371. IMMIGRATION AND
NATIVISM, 374. ISSUES OF THE 1840*8, 377. PROPAGANDA TACTICS AFTER 1840,
382. NATIVISM OF THE EARLY l85o's, 385. POLITICAL NATIVISM, 389.
The Crusade for Peace 396
EARLY ANTIWAR SENTIMENT, 396. INITIATION OF THE PEACE MOVEMENT,
400. AMERICAN PEACE SOCIETY, 404. PEACE LITERATURE, 406. OFFENSIVE
AND DEFENSIVE WARS, 409. NONRESISTANCE MOVEMENT, 411. THE MEXICAN
WAR, 415. INTERNATIONAL PEACE CRUSADE, 417. ELIHU BURRITT, 419.
The Rights of Women 424
STATUS OF WOMEN IN THE YOUNG REPUBLIC, 424. PIONEERS IN THE PRO-
FESSIONS, 429. WRITERS AND EDITORS, 435. HEALTH AND DRESS, 440. IN COM-
FREEDOM'S FERMENT
viii
MUNISTIC AND RELIGIOUS GROUPS, 442. IN THE ANTISLAVERY MOVEMENT,
443. IN THE TEMPERANCE MOVEMENT, 448. SUPPORT FROM THE LIBERALS,
450. WOMEN ORGANIZE, 452.
Like a Fire-bell in the Night 463
PRE-REVOLUTIONARY ANTISLAVERY SENTIMENT, 463. SLAVERY AND NATURAL
RIGHTS, 465. SLAVERY AND THE CONSTITUTION, 468. "THE NEGLECTED
PERIOD," 470. MISSOURI COMPROMISE, 472. SOUTHERN THEORY, 473. AMERI-
CAN COLONIZATION SOCIETY, 476. GROWTH OF ABOLITIONISM, 481. DAVID
WALKER, THE LIBERATOR, AND NAT TURNER, 484. ANTISLAVERY DOCTRINE
AND THE AMERICAN FAITH, 489. ORGANIZATION OF THE MOVEMENT, 491.
NORTHERN RECEPTION OF AGITATION, 493. OPPOSITION IN THE NORTH, 499.
DENIAL OF FREE SPEECH IN THE NORTH, 501. THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
AND SLAVERY, 508. RIGHT OF PETITION, 509.
A House Divided 513
PROSLAVERY ARGUMENT, 513. DIVISION IN THE CHURCHES, 519. FREEDOM
OF PRESS AND SPEECH IN THE SOUTH, 521. SOUTHERN CULTURE, 524. UNDER-
GROUND RAILROAD — NORTH, 527. UNDERGROUND RAILROAD — SOUTH, 532.
FUGITIVE SLAVE LAW, 536. TOWARD SECESSION, 542. POLITICS AND ECONOM-
ICS OF THE ROAD TO WAR, 544.
Epilogue 548
Bibliography and Notes 551
Index 590