American reform actions of 1825-1850

In the period from 1825-1850, a majority of the reform actions within the United States sought to expand democratic ideals. However, some did so indirectly and unintentionally.

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The reform actions were spurred by the Second Great Awakening, which began in New England in the late 1790’s, and would eventually unfold all through the country. The Second GA differed from the First in that people have been now believed to have the ability to choose whether or not or to not believe in God, as opposed to previous beliefs primarily based on calvinism and predestination.

According to Charles G. Finney, the function of the church is to reform society. In 1834, he stated, “When the church buildings are…awakened and reformed, the reformation and salvation of sinners will follow.” Finney had been influenced by Second Great Awakening beliefs. He goes on to say that “drunkards, harlots, and infidels” would even be converted do to reform by the church. In this sense, the Second Great Awakening helped broaden democratic beliefs by bettering the ethical requirements of the frequent man.

In 1835, Patrick Reason created an engraving depicting a black feminine slave in chains. Above her is the quote, “Am I not a woman and a sister??” This displays how the abolition and women’s movements often tied into each other. Both of these movements helped expand democratic ideals in that they desired increased rights (specifically suffrage) for minorities. However, women and blacks had been simply making an attempt to increase their own affect in society, and weren’t in any other case trying to expand democratic beliefs for the good factor about everybody (Native Americans, Irish immigrants, and so on.


The Grimke sisters (Angelina & Sarah) have been southern abolitionists who also performed a task in the Women’s Movement. Susan B. Anthony, a Quaker, and therefore against slavery on moral grounds, additionally played a job in each movements. Anthony was a disciple of Eliizabeth Cady Stanton.

Nativism was additionally an necessary reform motion of this time period. Nativism was the assumption that solely white Anglo-Saxon Protestants must be allowed suffrage and different rights. People believed this partly from concern of a Catholic takeover, and partly as a end result of they did not need foreign immigrants competing with them for jobs.

Samuel Morse was a key supporter of nativism. In his Imminent Dangers to the Free Institutions of the United States, written in 1835, he said “that no foreigner who comes into the nation after the law is handed shall ever be allowed the best of suffrage.” The legislation he referred to was a proposed law to exchange the current Naturalization Law of the time. This motion didn’t seek to increase democratic beliefs.

Education reform was also an necessary motion of this era. Universal manhood suffrage created the necessity for education reform. The widespread laborer began to demand education for his children. This movement sought to increase democratic beliefs in that more educated individuals meant more folks would have the ability to be productive members of society. Emma Willard played a task in this motion in addition to the Women’s Movement. She opened the Troy Female Seminary in 1821, which educated girls to be members of the clergy.

William H. McGuffey invented the “McGuffey Reader.” This was a standard reader that every one youngsters read based on their grade. In a passage from a McGuffey Reader from 1836, a poor young boy discusses how his dad and mom are “very good to save some of their cash so that I may be taught to read and write.” He is referring to tax-supported public schools, which have been a result of the education reform movement.

Alcohol abuse was becoming widespread all through the early 1800’s. This was due in part to Elijah Craig’s invention of bourbon in 1789. Alcohol abuse led to decreased efficiency of labor, which was a problem for businessmen and shoppers alike. The Temperance Movement began in an effort to end alcohol abuse. The American Temperance Society was shaped in Boston in 1826, and urged individuals to give up alcohol. Neal Dow supported prohibition, and is considered the “Father of Prohibition.” He supported the Maine Law of 1851, which prohibited the manufacture and sale of alcohol. William Lloyd Garrison was an abolitionist who additionally supported temperance.

An 1846 cartoon entitled “The Drunkards Progress. From The First Glass To The Grave” exhibits what a detrimental impact alcohol had on the life of the common laborer. The Temperance Movement sought to expand democratic beliefs in that it protected the widespread man from himself. It improved the widespread man’s productivity in addition to his well-being by discouraging him from the evils of alcohol.

The Seneca Falls Convention of 1848 sought to increase democratic beliefs extra vigilently and radically than maybe another event of any movement. Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton each played necessary roles within the convention. They produced a “Declaration of Sentiments” which stated that “all men and women are created equal.” They additionally produced a resolution formally demanding women’s suffrage.

In an excerpt from the Seneca Falls Declaration (August 2, 1848), Stanton states that the women are “assembled to protest towards a form of government, existing with out the consent of the governed–to declare our proper to be free as man is free.” Here she refers to the government-by-social contract philosophy of John Locke. She goes on to declare that “strange as it might seem, we now demand our right to vote in accordance with the declaration of the federal government beneath which we stay.” Here she refers to the Declaration of Independence of 1776, which acknowledged that “all males are created equal.”

Dorothia Dix travelled over 60,000 miles touring asylums throughout America. Her journals would assist unfold the idea that crazy folks were truly mentally sick, and didn’t merely select to be crazy. Her work led to fifteen new hospitals and improved situations in current hospitals of the time. While she did not search to expand democratic ideals, she did enhance the situations in asylums, which is an indirect enhance in the rights of the mentally ill.

In the interval from 1825-1850, a majority of the reform actions within the United States sought to expand democratic ideals. However, some did so indirectly and unintentionally.

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