Two women went to a convention and were not allowed to have a voice because they were women. Women's rights were very limited. For example: women couldn't vote, hold office, own land, nor accept income just because she was a woman. Women could also be abused by their husbands just because there wasn't a law about abuse at this time. Mott and Stanton held the Seneca Falls Convention to demand equality for women's rights. The rights were slowly progressing because of Douglass, Truth, Grimke sisters, Anthony, and Stone. For instance, the right for women to vote would not be achieved until 1920 (slowly progressing).
In the mid 1800's the Americans both black and white were having a say against slavery. The abolitionist movement began partially in response to the inhumane treatment of slaves and partially in an effort to remove blacks from the white society (segregation). Many northerners accepted southern slavery even though slavery ended in the early 1800's in the north. Garrison, the Grimke sisters, Douglass, Truth, and Tubman all played a big factor in the anti-slavery movement. This all started with William Lloyd Garrison with the American Anti-Slavery Society in 1833 to Harriet Tubman with the successful Underground Railroad.
In the mid-1800's, few children attended school because of the cost. Because of this, Horace Mann made efforts to change this practice. Mann was considered the "father of American public schools", served as the head of state board of education in Massachusetts, and he spoke to citzens about the importance of public schools in producing an educated citizenry. Reformers would turn to the lack of education for a cause of poverty and crime. The citizens had a say on paying taxes for better education, training teachers, and teachers salaries. While Mann was doing amazing transformations, few girls were not able to go to high school or college.
Reformers connected alcohol abuse to crime, the breakup of families, and mental illness. In the late 1820's, the Temperance movement was started. Temperance associations were established in New York (1808) and Massachusetts (1813). In 1850, Maine prohibited the sale of alcohol and others adopted the same law. Since these laws were later abolished, by the late 1800's the movement would return strong.
The Second Great Awakening was a revival of religious feeling and belief in the 1820's and 1830's. Followed by this movement, another movement was called transcendentalism which was a belief in the goodness of man. The citizens believed a reliable man could change the culture. This also conflicted with some establishments in the general public such as systematic religion and politicians. Henry David Thoreau supported and encouraged others to dispute laws they didn't agree with by choosing to be defiant, which was labeled as civil disobedience. Others contributors to this movement were: Nathaniel Hawthorne, Walt Whitman, and Ralph Emerson.
While helping a friend, Dorthea Dix, a Boston school teacher, volunteered to teach a Sunday school class at a jail. Dix's kindness would lead to a transformations in the prisons and treatment of the mentally ill. Dix was distraught by the conditions the prisoners were living in. For example: locked in cages, children jailed with adults, food was limited, inmates squeezed in the dark, and cells in harsh conditions. The treatment of the mentally ill was very heart dropping because these people were considered "insane". For instance, they were whipped and beaten for their behavior. Dix's move of reporting harsh conditions in the prisons now prevents mentally ill people from going to prison.