Pre-Civil War Reform Attempt to improve society through reform.
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Pre-Civil War Reform
Attempt to improve society through reform
First secular efforts in history to improve society through reform
United States in the forefront of this reform
Reform inspired by ideals but reaction to fear of a disintegrating society
FEARSocial DisorderViolenceFamily FragmentationWidening Class Divisions
Rapid and Unsettling Social ChangesEmergence of a Market EconomyBeginnings of Rapid Urbanization and IndustrializationDecline of DeferenceSpread of Democratic PoliticsIncreasingly Unequal Distribution of WealthRadical Shift in Womens Roles and Status
AnxietyWill democracy degenerate into anarchy?Will self-seeking individualism erode traditional morality?Will commercialism undermine national ideals?
Many believedThe only way to stabilize the social order was to internalize self-restraints within the depths of individual character through religion and moral reform.
Roots of Reform?
Rose out of a millennialist sense of possibilities that was both secular AND religious!
Early 19th CenturyAmericans convinced society disintegratingCity SlumsDuels LynchingsStreet ChildrenAlcoholismIllegitimacyYoung women left home (women not under control of father or husband)
Stump Speaking (1850) George Caleb Bingham
Stump Speaking (1850) George Caleb Bingham
In America, where the privileges of birth never existed and where riches confer no peculiar rights on their possessors, men unacquainted with one another are very ready to frequent the same places and find neither peril nor advantage in the free interchange of their thoughts. ~Alexis DeTocqueville, Democracy in America
Early 19th CenturyReligious Revival (2nd Great Awakening)Time of Constitution- 1 in 20 attended church1860- 1 in 3 attended churchMillenialism- a belief that the world is about to end Churches forced to compete for members so they adopted new theologies and teaching styles
Methodist Camp Meeting, 1839
"The noise was like the roar of Niagara, At one time I saw at least five hundred swept down in a moment as if a battery of a thousand guns had been opened upon them, and then immediately followed shrieks and shouts that rent the very heavens." ~eyewitness James Finley
Tent Revival Meeting in Eastham, Mass
Reform Came in Three StagesMoral Reform: Create a God like society.Social Reform: Create institutions to combat poverty, crime, illiteracy and disease.Radical: Combats underlying inequalities, slavery, racism and sexism.
Moral ReformTemperanceDram brakes/ night capsThe term booze came from this eraTypical adult drank 7 gallons/yearLinked to crime, poverty, unproductive workersStress of market society lead many to drink
Death on the Striped Pig (1839)
Moral ReformProstitution5% - 10% of teenage girls in New York were prostitutesAge of consent in states ranged from 7 13
19th Century Prostitution
The Effects of Drunkeness (1841)
William Sidney Mount Bar-room Scene, 1835
Social ReformCrimeExploded in early 19th centuryColonial View: Reintegrate criminals into society; punishments were swift and harsh
Social ReformEducationHorace Mann: convinced MA of Public EducationCreate system to train teachersGermany, Netherlands and Denmark developing schools at the same time.
Social ReformEducation (cont.)Create schools without raising taxes Solution: Hire women, pay them lower wages than men
Radical ReformAbolitionEarly 19th Century Slavery on the way out1808 US and GB outlawed African Slave TradeProblem: How to convince slaveholders to emancipate slaves?1830s and 1840s US in deadlock over slavery
A Piece of Sheet Music from 1829
Radical ReformViolent counter-reaction to abolitionistsGarrisonians vs. PoliticsRadicals Liberty PartySlavery Evil Free Soil Partyat heart of US Republican Party
Radical ReformWomens Rights1848 London Abolition Conference: Female delegation forced to sit in balcony behind a curtainAnti-slavery Movement splits over inequalities for women
Radical ReformAverage American Woman1800 7 10 children1800 -1850fewer than 5 children19003 childrenWomen were desperate to reduce rate of birthsHigh Rates of Abortions 1 in 6 estimate
Radical ReformThings getting better for womenRise in womens literacyIncrease in female schools/academiesIncreased employment opportunitiesThings getting worse for womenNo political powerWomens work devaluedLacked divorce and property rights