Social Reform: Abolition

Although Transcendentalists generally asserted that reforms of society must begin within the individual conscience, they also realized that the entrenched institution of slavery called for immediate action, especially when it directly affected Massachusetts. Their actions were varied and in the form of words. Thoreau's "Resistance to Civil Government" was energized by the Mexican war as an effort to add more slave states; Thoreau was radicalized by the passing of the Fugitive Slave Act and his encounter with John Brown. Other transcendentalists also raised their voices for abolition of slavery.

Ideas & thought: