Foundations of Reform
Efforts to reform the country came from religious movements such as the Second Great Awakening and transcendentalism, wich was the belief in the goodness of man. A leading transcendentalist was Henery David Thorau. He created civil disobedience. Others were Nathaniel Hawthorne and Walt Whitman.
Events such as the election of Andrew Jackson motivated the public. Events such as these provided hope for all citizens. Jackson would represent ordinary farmers, workers, and the poor. Jackson's organization became the Democratic Party.
In the mid 1800's, african-americans and americans alike started to speak out against slavery. A growing number of americas population wanted to end slavery to promote "liberty and equality for all." During the Revolutionary Era, the abolistionist movement started as a reaction to the cruel treatment towards slaves.
William Lloyd Garisson was a vocal abolitionist who formed the American Anti-Slavery Society in 1833. The Grimke siters gave lectures all over northern U.S on the evils of slavery. Well-known african-american abolitionists were Fredrick Douglass and Sojourner Truth. Fredrick Douglass became a leader in the abolistionist movements. Harriet Tubman was the conductor of the underground railroad, wich helped runaway slaves escape to free land.
Few children in the mid-1800s attend school because of the cost. Horace Mann (also known as the "Father of American Public Schools") spoke to the citizens of Massachusetts, who voted to pay tax to build schools, pay higher salaries for teachers, and to open schools to train teachers.
Reformers linked alcohol abuse to crime, the breakup of families, and mental illness. In the late 1820s a temperance movement was started and by 1850 multiple states banned the sale of alcohol. The laws were eventually repealed but the movement would gain strength in the late 1800s