This chapter examines the relationship between magazines and social reform movements in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. In particular, it looks at the “benevolent empire,” an interorganizational field that consisted of a large number of voluntary social reform associations, the religious structures that supported them, and the magazines that both supported organized reform efforts and were supported by them. The chapter first reviews the history of reform movements, with emphasis on the links among successive movements and the formal organizations that supported them. It then considers the religious roots of social reform and the specialized magazines launched by reform leaders to broadcast their views and show. It also discusses how often the many different social reform movements were covered across all magazine genres before concluding with an analysis of the antislavery movement and its interaction with both religion and magazines.
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