Antebellum Reform Movements


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Antebellum Reform Movements

  2. 2. The Second Great Awakening <ul><li>Liberal faiths such as Deism and Unitarianism gained followers in the late 1700s </li></ul><ul><li>As a reaction to this, a wave of religious revivals spread across America </li></ul><ul><li>Reorganized churches and created many new sects </li></ul><ul><li>Encouraged evangelicalism (personal conversion and faith by good works) </li></ul><ul><li>Led to prison reform, temperance, women’s movement and abolitionism </li></ul>
  3. 3. Education Reform <ul><li>“ Free” public education was only for the poor and lower class initially </li></ul><ul><li>Wealthier, conservative Americans realized that if they did not pay to educate the poor’s children, they could grow up to be dangerous and ignorant (they could vote under universal white manhood suffrage) </li></ul><ul><li>Tax-supported public education grew from 1825 to 1850, except in the South </li></ul><ul><li>One room schoolhouse system was imperfect though </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers were untrained, ill-tempered and not paid well, more emphasis on “lickin’” (corporal punishment), than “larnin’” </li></ul>
  4. 4. Education Reform <ul><li>Horace Mann, secretary of the Massachusetts Board of Education, campaigned for more and better schoolhouses, longer school terms, higher pay for teachers, and an expanded curriculum </li></ul><ul><li>Influence extended to other states, but public education was still very limited </li></ul><ul><li>Noah Webster created improved textbooks including “reading lessons” partly designed to promote patriotism. Also published his dictionary which helped standardize American language </li></ul><ul><li>William H. McGuffey published the grade school level McGuffey’s Readers , which included lessons in morality, patriotism and idealism </li></ul>
  5. 5. Education Reform <ul><li>Second Great Awakening led to many denominational, liberal arts colleges that were usually weak academically </li></ul><ul><li>Along with Ivy League colleges, they offered a narrow curriculum of Latin, Greek, mathematics and moral philosophy </li></ul><ul><li>First state-supported universities established in the South </li></ul><ul><li>Thomas Jefferson advocated them—dedicated to freedom from religious or political shackles, modern languages and science received unusual emphasis </li></ul>
  6. 6. Prison Reform <ul><li>Criminal codes were softened- the number of capital offenses was reduced and brutal punishment was reduced </li></ul><ul><li>New idea that prisons should punish as well as reform, “houses of correction” and “penitentiaries” </li></ul><ul><li>Dorothea Dix campaigned for better treatment of the mentally ill in insane asylums </li></ul><ul><li>Wrote reports on the filthy conditions in the asylums through first hand observations </li></ul><ul><li>Petitioned the Massachusetts legislature in 1843 </li></ul><ul><li>Resulted in improved conditions and promoted the concept that the “demented” were not willfully perverse, as generally thought in the 19 th century, but mentally ill </li></ul>
  7. 7. Temperance Movement <ul><li>Customs in the US and a hard and monotonous life led to excessive consumption of alcohol, even among women, clergymen, and members of Congress </li></ul><ul><li>Heavy drinking decreased the efficiency of labor, and machinery operated under the influence of alcohol was extremely dangerous </li></ul><ul><li>Also threatened the spiritual welfare (and physical safety) of women and children </li></ul>
  8. 8. Temperance Movement <ul><li>American Temperance Society was formed in Boston in 1826 </li></ul><ul><li>Encouraged drinkers to sign the temperance pledge and organized children’s clubs, known as the “Cold Water Army” </li></ul><ul><li>Made effective use of pictures, pamphlets, and lecturers </li></ul><ul><li>Two major lines of attack against drinking: temperance (refrain from consuming alcoholic or other intoxicating beverages) rather than teetotalism (total elimination of intoxicants), or prohibition (wanted temptation to be removed by legislation) </li></ul>
  9. 9. Temperance Movement <ul><li>Neal S. Dow (“Father of Prohibition”) sponsored Maine Law of 1851 </li></ul><ul><li>Prohibited the manufacture and sale of intoxicating liquor </li></ul><ul><li>Other states in the North followed suit </li></ul><ul><li>Proved impossible to prevent thirst for alcohol through laws, but there was much less drinking than earlier in the century </li></ul>
  10. 10. Women’s Rights <ul><li>19 th century American woman had little to no rights—couldn’t own property once married, could not vote, had the legal status of a minor </li></ul><ul><li>Most female reformers were white and wealthy, and campaigned for temperance and abolitionism along with women’s rights </li></ul><ul><li>Movement led by Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton (advocated suffrage for women), Susan B. Anthony (such a prominent advocate of women’s rights her followers were called “Suzy Bs”), Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell (first female med school graduate), Grimke sisters (antislavery), and Amelia Bloomer (shorter skirts) </li></ul>
  11. 11. Women’s Rights <ul><li>Held Woman’s Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, New York in 1848 </li></ul><ul><li>Elizabeth Cady Stanton read the “Declaration of Sentiments” which stated that all men and women are created equal (not just men) </li></ul><ul><li>Formally launched the modern women’s rights movement, but was overshadowed by abolitionism </li></ul><ul><li>However, some women being admitted to colleges and some wives allowed to own property after marriage </li></ul>