By: Allan Otero Marcos Arribas Daniel Wang Chapter 15: The Ferment of Reform and Culture, 1790-1860
Introduction As America grew, Americans poured their considerable energies into religious revivals and reform movements. The American Identity became more distinct and defined between 1790 and 1860 due to advances in education, technology, literature, and the development of new religious sects.
Religious Reform The Second Great Awakening evoked the rise of new religions contradictory to orthodox Calvinistic views. Deism Unitarianism The creation of new religious sects further widened the gap between social classes, creating distinct North and South societies. Joseph Smith founded the Mormons.
Progression in Public Education Tax supported public education was originally met with stiff opposition. Horace Mann, Noah Webster, and William H. McGuffey all helped to improve the public education system. The Second Great Awakening aided in development of many small liberal arts colleges in the South and West. The first state supported universities sprung up in the early 1800s in the Southeast. Women were discouraged from participating in higher level education. Higher education became geared more towards voluntary desires
Reform for America The Second Great Awakening inspired reform in a reminiscent view of a perfect society. The harshness of the justice system was mitigated due to public outcries protesting the unfair treatment of debtors and criminals. Dorothea Dix raised awareness for the mentally ill.
Temperance The defilement of the workplace and family unit spurred reformers to encourage the moderate consumption of alcohol. Neil S. Dow is considered the father of prohibition. Although society wanted to regulate morality, they could not control the addicting consumption of alcohol
Women’s Suffrage In the 19th century, America was a largely patriarchal society like that of Europe. Feminists congregated at Seneca Falls, New York, for a Woman’s Rights Convention However, this women’s rights movement was eclipsed by the abolitionist movement.
Utopian Experiments Around the 1820s, reformers seeking to set up a utopian society, did so with relative success at first, however all of these experiments failed. The Oneida Experiment in New York is an example of one such experiment.
Early American Achievements Pioneering Americans did not thirst for pure sciences, but rather, preferred practical gadgets to help them overcome problems encountered in everyday life. Because America continued to mimic European artistic style, Greek and Roman architecture emerged as a popular reoccurrence in American structural design. The art of painting did not flourish because of the lack of interest of the wealthy upper class. Artists were often forced to go to Europe to perform their craft.
Blossoming of a National Literature The War for Independence and the War of 1812 caused American literature to diverge from European styles. The Knickerbocker group in New York consisted group of authors who contributed genuine American masterpieces to literature and in turn gained European respect for American literature. Washington Irving James Fenimore William Cullen Bryant
Transcendentalism Transcendentalists rejected conventional wisdom, believing that the truth was obtained by the senses. Emerson and Thoreau and Whitman were the three most famous transcendentalists who influenced idealism and civil rights.
Developing Literary Merit Several notable literary figures emerged and addressed controversial issues in their works, such as slavery, politics, science, morality. Edgar Allen Poe Nathaniel Hawthorne George Bancroft wrote a history of the United States up to 1789 in 1845. He is considered the father of American history. Historians William H. Prescott and Francis Parkman contributed to the history of the American continents.
DBQ Question Between 1790 and 1860, America experienced a large number of reform movements. What were the effects of these reformations and how did they occur?
Excerpt from Walden; Henry David Thoreau I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear, nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion. For most men, it appears to me, are in a strange uncertainty about it, whether it is of the devil or of God, and have somewhat hastily concluded that it is the chief end of man here to "glorify God and enjoy him forever."
Ar’nt I a Woman;Sojourner Truth, 1851 Women’s Rights Convention I want to say a few words about this matter. I am a woman's rights. I have as much muscle as any man, and can do as much work as any man. I have plowed and reaped and husked and chopped and mowed, and can any man do more than that? I have heard much about the sexes being equal. I can carry as much as any man, and can eat as much too, if I can get it. I am as strong as any man that is now. As for intellect, all I can say is, if woman have a pint, and man a quart—why can't she have her little pint full? You need not be afraid to give us our rights for fear she will take too much,—for we can't take more than our pint'll hold. The poor men seem to be all in confusion, and don't know what to do. Why children, if you have woman's rights, give it to her and you will feel better. You will have your own rights, and they won't be so much trouble. I can't read, but I can hear. I have heard the bible and have learned that Eve caused man to sin. Well, if woman upset the world, do give her a chance to set it right side up again. The Lady has spoken about Jesus, how he never spurned woman from him, and she was right. When Lazarus died, Mary and Martha came to him with faith and love and besought him to raise their brother. And Jesus wept and Lazarus came forth. And how came Jesus into the world? Through God who created him and a woman who bore him. Man, where is your part? But the women are coming up blessed be God and a few of the men are coming up with them. But man is in a tight place, the poor slave is on him, woman is coming on him, he is surely between a hawk and a buzzard.
The Religion of Deism Compared with the Christian Religion;Thomas Paine But when the divine gift of reason begins to expand itself in the mind and calls man to reflection, he then reads and contemplates God and His works, and not in the books pretending to be revelation. The creation is the Bible of the true believer in God. Everything in this vast volume inspires him with sublime ideas of the Creator. The little and paltry, and often obscene, tales of the Bible sink into wretchedness when put in comparison with this mighty work. The Deist needs none of those tricks and shows called miracles to confirm his faith, for what can be a greater miracle than the creation itself, and his own existence?