Foundations of reform:
Second Great Awakening:
- A revival of religion feeling and belief in 1820s and 1830s which emphasized the role that individuals played the Second Great Awakening reflected Romanticism characterized by enthusiasm, emotion, and an appeal to the super-natural.
- Revivals were a key part of the movement and attracted hundreds of converts to new Protestant denominations.
- The Methodist Church used circuit riders to reach people in frontier locations.
- The Second Great Awakening led to a period of antebellum social reform and an emphasis on salvation by institutions.
- Abolitionism is a movement to end slavery, whether formal or informal. In Western Europe and the Americas, abolitionism is a historical movement to end the African and Indian slave trade and set slaves free.
- Abolitionists believed that slavery was a national sin, and that it was the moral obligation of every American to help eradicate it from the American landscape by gradually freeing the slaves and returning them to Africa.. Not all Americans agreed. Views on slavery varied state by state, and among family members and neighbors. Many Americans—Northerners and Southerners alike—did not support abolitionist goals, believing that anti-slavery activism created economic instability and threatened the racial social order.
People In This Group
Henry David Thoreau PHILOSOPHER, JOURNALIST, POET
CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVIST, WOMEN'S RIGHTS ACTIVIST
Susan B. Anthony
PUBLISHER, CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVIST, EDITOR, WOMEN'S RIGHTS ACTIVIST, JOURNALIST
Cassius Marcellus Clay
Women's Rights Movement:
- The women's rights movement summary: Women's rights is the fight for the idea that women should have equal rights with men. Over history, this has taken the form of gaining property rights, the women's suffrage, or the right of women to vote, reproductive rights, and the right to work for for equal pay.
- The first women's rights convention is held in Seneca Falls, New York. After 2 days of discussion and debate, 68 women and 32 men sign a Declaration of Sentiments, which outlines grievances and sets the agenda for the women's rights movement. A set of 12 resolutions is adopted calling for equal treatment of women and men under the law and voting rights for women.
- The first National Women's Rights Convention takes place in Worcester, Mass., attracting more than 1,000 participants. National conventions are held yearly (except for 1857) through 1860.
Prison Reform and Care of the Disabled:
- Prison reform has had a long history in the United States, beginning with the construction of the nation's first prisons. From the time of the earliest prisons in the United States, reformers have struggled with the problem of how to punish criminals while also preserving their humanity; how to protect the public while also allowing prisoners to re-enter society after their sentences end; and how to satisfy crime victims' desire for justice and revenge while also giving convicts a second chance to live freely and abide by the law. Although experts have long agreed that many criminals should be punished by imprisonment, they have differing ideas about which crimes merit imprisonment, what length sentences should be, and how inmates should be treated.
- A major reform movement that won widespread support was the effort to make education available to more children. The man who led this movement was Horace Mann, "the father of American public schools." As a boy in Massachusetts, he attended school only 10 weeks a year. The rest of the time, he had to work on the family farm.
- Few areas had public schools--schools paid for by taxes. Wealthy parents sent their children to private school or hired tutors at home. On the frontier, 60 children might attend a part-time, one-room school. Their teachers had limited education and received little pay. Most children simply did not go to school. In the cities, some poor children stole, destroyed property, and set fires. Reformers believed that education would help these children escape poverty and become good citizens.
- The temperance movement of the 19th and early 20th centuries was an organized effort to encourage moderation in the consumption of intoxicating liquors or press for complete abstinence. The movement's ranks were mostly filled by women who, with their children, had endured the effects of unbridled drinking by many of their menfolk. In fact, alcohol was blamed for many of society's demerits, among them severe health problems, destitution and crime. At first, they used moral suasion to address the problem.