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The foundation to the five sectors of the United States reform movement of the 1840s heavily relied on the ideals of liberalism. Conservatism depends on traditional customs, at this time patriarchy and slavery were institutionalized for so long that it was technically tradition. An ideology that promotes equality of all, and moral welfare, liberalism challenges these conventional paradigms in order to achieve a necessary change that can benefit the majority. Women’s rights and abolitionism, were what made up part of the reform movement, both relating to that idea of equality, and scraps past societal norms. Women’s rights and abolitionism were beliefs never before advocated so heavily before the 1840s. The idea of equality for women and slaves was a traditional concept because these were humans deemed inferior to white males. The thought of allowing women to enter into politics, the workforce, and the same social level as men, were proposals deemed extreme liberalism. For example, conservatives valued property rights heavily, and in 1849 California was the first state to allow women to attain property; possess property rights. But the more conservative individual would fight that only men are allowed to have these rights because owning property gives individuals a place, and say, in society and politics. Women’s suffrage was also a big advocation during this time. Although allowing women to vote was not achieved until decades later, women like Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton presented this idea at the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848, making it the first step towards relieving women’s suffrage. Conservatives were so against the idea of letting women vote because that gave them a say in politics, (just like owning property rights would allow for), and the traditional belief was that women were not intellectually capable of making political decisions. Allowing the freedom of slaves would cost the economy quite a collapse, especially in the South, where most southerners were conservative. Abolitionism went hand in hand with women’s rights, in other words, most of the reasons conservatives were against women’s rights were the same for abolishing slavery. Most of it relates to economics, and abolishing slavery could be detrimental to the economy especially in the South. In the aforementioned statement, property rights were valued greatly by conservatives, if a proprietor was in favor of having slaves that is his own right. A leader of this movement included self-proclaimed abolitionist, William Lloyd Garrison, created The Liberator, a newspaper promoting abolitionism and women’s rights. Supporters of Garrison and his newspaper included former slaves such as Frederick Douglass, a liberal himself. The thought of abolitionism was considered “radical”, a term used by conservatives to describe liberals when ever they proposed change. And maybe some abolitionists did take it to a radical extent, such as John Brown did when he raided Harper’s Ferry in 1859, but this is called a demand for progressiveness, something that conservatives do not favor.Ideologies that involve change is a liberal’s aesthetic. Conservatives did not favor abolitionism and women’s rights for that very reason, both called for the discarding of traditional systematic rules. The fear of granting “inferior” individuals a place in society and politics was a conservative notion, mostly because they would fear it would damage the economy and result in poor political decisions. The issue of slavery went deeper than economics for the liberals, it was an ethical dilemma that the liberals, majority living  in the North, were more succumbed to realizing. Conservatives in the South had it hard to see because they relied so much on slavery. For women’s rights, it was a movement long overdue, but since orthodox beliefs deemed women inferior, conservatists did not favor it one bit. Until this day, liberals of the present are the ones more inclined to advocate for women’s rights. 

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