03 April 2008

Thursday Thirteen: American Social Movements

By Marianne LaCroix

Thirteen Social Movements through US History

1. Abolition of Slavery:
After the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, abolitionists continued to pursue the freedom of slaves in the remaining slave states, and to better the conditions of black Americans generally. The passage of the Thirteenth Amendment in 1865 officially ended slavery. (Wikipedia)
2. Anti-War Movement: No need to explain this. Even in today's society, there are anti-war movements going on. In US History, every war saw anti-war movements, including the Revolution and the Civil War.

3. Women's Suffrage: Women gain the right to vote in 1920 with the Nineteenth Amendment after a 70-year campaign.

4. Animal Rights Movement:
In 1641, the year Descartes' Meditations was published, the first legal code to protect domestic animals in the U.S. was passed by the Massachusetts Bay Colony. The colony's constitution was based on The Body of Liberties, written by the Reverend Nathaniel Ward (1578–1652), a lawyer, Puritan clergyman, and Cambridge graduate, originally from Suffolk, England. Ward listed the "rites" the Colony's general court later endorsed, including rite number 92: "No man shall exercise any Tirrany or Crueltie toward any bruite Creature which are usuallie kept for man's use." Historian Roderick Nash writes that, at the height of Descartes influence in Europe, it is significant that the early New Englanders created a law that implied animals were not unfeeling automata. (Wikipedia)
5. Civil Rights Movement: This is a topic all on its own. Civil Rights for all people has been an ongoing issue through history--the fight for equal rights and against discrimination. This covers discrimination for color, race, sex, and sexual preferences.

6. Ecology Movement: Emerged at the end of the 1960s. This covers the widespread awareness of the ecological state of the planet. Acid rain, deforestation, ozone depletion and climate change is all addressed.

7. Free love: Rejects marriage as a social bondage especially for women. This became very prominent in the 1960's with the feminist movement.
[H]istorically the free-love movement has not advocated multiple sexual partners or short-term sexual relationships. Rather, it has argued that love relations that are freely entered into should not be regulated by law. Thus, free-love practice may include long-term monogamous relationships or even celibacy, but would not include institutional forms of polygamy, such as a king and his wives and concubines. (Wikipedia)
8. Labor Movement:
Throughout the world, action by the labour movement has led to reforms and workers' rights, such as the 2-day weekend, minimum wage, paid holidays, and the achievement of the eight-hour day for many workers. There have been many important labour activists in modern history who have caused changes that were revolutionary at the time and are now regarded as basic. (Wikipedia)
9. Prohibition: The legal ban of the sale and manufacture of alcohol took place 1919 to 1933 in the US. During this time named the "Roaring Twenties," men like Al Capone and Bugs Moran made millions of dollars through illegal alcohol sales.

10. Right to Life: "Every human being has the inherent right to life. This right shall be protected by law. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his life." (Article 6.1 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights)

Pro-life people who support this concept define embryos and fetuses as human beings which have a right to life, and oppose embryonic stem cell research and abortion."..."Another argument against the "right to life" states that abortion is not a form of murder, hence "pro-choicers" are no less "pro-life" than "pro-lifers." (Wikipedia)
(Note: These are not my words, so please don't gather I support one side over another.)

11. Fair Trade Movement:
The movement advocates the payment of a fair price as well as social and environmental standards in areas related to the production of a wide variety of goods. It focuses in particular on exports from developing countries to developed countries, most notably handicrafts, coffee, cocoa, sugar, tea, bananas, honey, cotton, wine, fresh fruit, and so on. (Wikipedia)
12. Student Activism: The political work by students to change the American educational system. The largest strike took place in May and June, 1970, in response to the Kent State shootings and the American invasion of Cambodia.

13. LGBT Movement:
Lesbian, gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) social movements share related goals of social acceptance of homosexuality, bisexuality, or transgenderism. LGBT refers to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, and their movements include the Gay and Lesbian Rights Movement, Gay Liberation, lesbian feminism, the queer movement and transgender activism. A commonly stated goal is social equality for LGBT people; some have also focused on building LGBT communities, or worked towards liberation for the broader society from sexual oppression. LGBT movements organized today are made up of a wide range of political activism and cultural activity, such as lobbying and street marches; social groups, support groups and community events; magazines, films and literature; academic research and writing; and even business activity. (Wikipedia)
Comment and leave your link to your Thursday Thirteens!

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