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The Cover
July 7, 1999

Anti-Slavery Picnic at Weymouth Landing, Massachusetts

JAMA. 1999;282(1):7. doi:10.1001/jama.282.1.7

The United States entered the middle decades of the 19th century in a mood of exuberance. Nothing seemed impossible. By 1840, the number of states had doubled from the original 13; the population had quadrupled. The economic depression that had followed the financial panic of 1837 was easing. Growth was in the air; the appetite for expansion was keen. Political debate was robust. The Whigs elected their first president, defeating Democratic incumbent Martin Van Buren, and took a majority in Congress. The newly formed Liberty Party also ran a candidate. On the other hand, there were serious problems to be addressed, and the middle of the century saw renewed efforts at reform. The abolitionist movement took on new life. Paralleling it, the women's rights movement also came alive. Even medicine saw attempts at reform, as a national organization was formed to ensure standards of education and ethical practice.

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