Reform Movements Essay Sample

Between the old ages 1825 and 1850. the United States was undergoing a series of reform motions. At the same clip. America was quickly turning and diversifying. Motions were designed to accommodate to the new. bigger state. They inspired the creative activity of new establishments every bit good. Americans had different feelings about their expanding state. Some welcomed the alterations. excited about the growing. Others became disquieted about the hereafter of America. The reform motions came as a consequence of these different feelings. On the surface. the intent of reforms was equal intervention for all. While many did try to democratise American life. some had other ends as good. Reforms besides sought romanticism. It was a reaction against tradition and characterized by an optimistic religion in human nature. There began an attempt to unleash the good spirit that everyone was believed to hold.

Contradictory to romanticism. the reforms besides aimed for order and control. to continue traditional values and establishments. Many of these were feared to be in danger because our society was altering so rapidly. Those who were diffident about the enlargement frequently wished for simpler times.

The Second Great Awakening brought many societal and political alterations. It besides initiated reform motions. Many of them were backed by faith every bit good as democracy. The churches have been revived and they called on people to demo their religion by moving morally. They wanted to rouse and change over evildoers so that they might have redemption. Charles G. Finney believed that when the churches were reformed. evildoers. prostitutes. rummies and heathens would be awakened and inspired to move with moral rightness in society.

Reformers were far more legion and influential in the North than in the South. Nonetheless. whatever the urge was. many different groups mobilized throughout the state to convey about reform.

One group known as the transcendentalists. and their visions of a Utopian society embodied the romantic urge in America between 1825 and 1850. The transcendentalists were a group of authors and philosophers from New England. They embraced the theory of the person that was based upon a differentiation between ground and apprehension. Harmonizing to them. everyone’s end should be to exceed the bounds of the mind. Their leader was former Unitarian curate. Ralph Waldo Emerson. An of import rational and committed patriot. Emerson drew immense crowds and gained many followings. Transcendentalism helped take to a really celebrated experiment known as Brook Farm. It was established by transcendentalist George Ripley in 1841. It was intended to be a new signifier of societal organisation. Every member had the chance for full self-fulfillment. They would all portion every bit in the labour so that they could portion in equal leisure every bit good. As tenseness between single freedom and the demands of such a communal society grew. many occupants became disgruntled and left. The experiment dissipated in 1847. But this experiment was non the last. Many similar experiments and communities were founded based upon the ideals of George Ripley and Brook Farm.

At first. Brook Farm and similar communities seemed luring to occupants looking self-fulfillment. However. individuality finally gave manner to a signifier of socialism. Writer Nathaniel Hawthorn. an original occupant of Brook Farm. came to disapprove of the experiment. depicting it as oppressive. Others as good disapproved of reforms. Harmonizing to Orestes A. Brownson. reformists were wrongly seeking to make an wholly new societal and industrial order. Not all Americans approved of the antebellum reform motions. They were the 1s who wished that things would remain as they are. and that they should non be challenged or changed. They wished to continue order.

The Second Great Awakening brought on several other reform motions such as the call for educational reform. In the 1830s. more people became interested in the reform of instruction. There was a desire to learn pupils stable societal values. Horace Mann. secretary of the Massachusetts Board of Education. was a leader in the motion for educational reform. He believed that it was critical to do simple school mandatary to develop good citizens for the state in order to protect democracy. He besides thought that every kid should hold the right to travel to school free of cost. This was highly of import because many parents could hardly afford to direct their kids to school.

Acting on his beliefs. Mann reorganized the Massachusetts school system. Other provinces shortly followed his lead. By the 1850s. tax-supported simple schools were accepted in all provinces. However. despite the betterments from the reform motion. the quality of instruction differed in different topographic points and establishments were different every bit good. For illustration. instruction in topographic points such as Massachusetts had extremely trained instructors when compared to other topographic points. whose instructors were frequently hardly literate. and support was non as sufficient. Massachusetts kids were taught to larn from their ain inner wisdom. and great accent was placed on the potency of an person.

Although the reformists strove to do instruction universal and available to all. that end was non achieved. The chance for instruction was far greater in the North than in any other part. In the West. land was freshly settled and people lived really dispersed out from each other. Because of the disperse inhabitance. many kids had no entree to a school at all. In the South. no African American could have an instruction. So by 1860. less than half of white kids were enrolled in school. But the schools reformists did hold impressive accomplishments. The United States had an exceptionally high literacy rate by 1860 as good. School reforms were a success. but still non every kid was acquiring an instruction.

While Mann wanted every kid to have an instruction. he besides saw another benefit to the educational reform motion. Mandating schools would maintain kids out of problem hence diminishing the figure of Juvenile Delinquents. Similar urges initiated another reform motion: the creative activity of penitentiaries and refuges for felons and the mentally sick. Prior to that. they were all crowded together in gaols and non given a opportunity. This was one of American society’s biggest jobs. Soon. the crowded gaols were replaced with proper environments for the inmates.

These new establishments were non merely created to halt the cruelty of the old system. They besides attempted to assist rehabilitate the inmates to better their lives. They tried to take them off from what made them an inmate in the first topographic point. An of import figure in these reforms was Dorothea Dix. She began a national motion for new methods to handle the mentally ill. Penitentiaries besides worked to reform the lives of felons and do them assets of society. They did this though methods such as lone parturiency meant to give felons a opportunity to chew over on their offenses and immorality. Reforming the prisons benefitted single inmates and the state every bit good. The unfairness of the old system was changed by giving those people a 2nd opportunity. It came out of both romanticism and a desire for order.

Another influential reform motion of the epoch was the Temperance Crusade. the campaign against inebriation. It was thought to be chiefly responsible for all offenses. upset. and poorness. It was a societal interest towns and it helped cut down the solitariness on little farms. Drinking was a thing of leisure for many on the job Americans every bit good. In the antebellum old ages. there was a excess of intoxicant. ensuing in inordinate imbibing. It became rather a serious job.

Alcoholism was said to hold started with the first glass. and ended with decease. It ruined your life. doing you to lose everyone near to you and go morbid. In fact. many protagonists of the Temperance Movement were alkies seeking to get the better of their imbibing job. Techniques of revivalism were used to prophesy abstention. Soon. over a million pledged to give up spirits. Disagreements shortly occurred among reformists. Some wanted the province authoritiess to curtail the ingestion of intoxicant. Some said that moderation should trust on the scruples of the person. The Temperance Crusade did assist many alkies. but it was unable the eliminate the use of intoxicant.

One of the most outstanding reforms between 1825 and 1850 was the motion for women’s rights. Women played a significant function in assorted reform motions. This caused them to go cognizant of the jobs that they faced in the male-dominated society of America. They excessively. were persons and Americans and they felt that they should be given a greater function in society. Women faced non merely traditional limitations imposed on them. but they were assigned “separate spheres” in society. apart from work forces.

Womans became progressively angry at the inequality they faced. It caused them to name a convention at Seneca Falls in 1848. Women’s rights advocators such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton. protested in the Seneca Falls Declaration. that work forces and adult females are created equal and that they should hold the same rights. They rejected the impression of separate domains and made their biggest demand: the right to vote. However. the woman’s right to vote motion would go on on until 1920.

Feminists worked for equality for adult females in a reform motion that would last more than a century. They no longer wanted to be under the control of work forces.

In the protest for women’s rights. adult females frequently compared their troubles to that of the slaves. They were in fact. rather similar in a figure of ways. The campaign against bondage. going more powerful between 1825 and 1850. shortly came to dominate all other reform motions of the antebellum epoch. The emancipationists became the most influential group of reformists in the state. particularly Frederick Douglass. a former slave. The North. where there were free inkinesss and where abolitionism became really strong. felt a peculiar impulse to criminalize bondage in the United States. After a failure by the American Colonization Society to transport inkinesss back to Africa. the early antislavery motion was losing strength. That was until William Lloyd Garrison dramatically transformed it through his newspaper. the Liberator. He rapidly attracted a big group of followings in the North and founded the American Antislavery Society. Many joined the emancipationist cause because it was similar to other reform motions of the epoch. It called for the unleashing of the single human spirit and the riddance of societal barriers in order to accomplish equality. Abolitionists felt that the enslaved work forces and adult females were in great demand of aid in recognizing their single potency.

While Americans embarked on a widespread attempt to decide the issues in society. the reaching of new immigrants in the early nineteenth century was a changeless menace to democracy. The bulk of immigrants came from Ireland and Germany. Samuel F. B. Morse described it as an at hand danger to the free establishments of the United States. Many Americans agreed with him and their frights led to the rise of nativism. Nativism is a defence of native-born people and a ill will to the nonnative. This was compounded by a desire to decelerate or halt in-migration. Nativism was a consequence of racism. Some argued that the immigrants were inferior to them. because they had been established in America for much longer. They placed low value on the possible ability of the immigrants. which is wholly different than the reform motions. which placed a large accent on single potency and accomplishment.

Nativists viewed immigrants with the same disdain as they did with Indians and African Americans. Above all. nativists argued that immigrants were socially unfit to populate alongside them in society. particularly because most were in utmost poorness. life in urban or rural slums. Workers became angry claiming that the immigrants were stealing their occupations. This was because they were more willing to work for lower wage. Immigration caused many other frights as good. Many thought that political relations were being corrupted by the immigrants because they sold their ballots. Protestants worried about Catholics going more influential in the authorities. The Temperance motion pitted Protestants and Catholics. against each others every bit good. Protestants disapproved of the intoxicant usage by the Catholics. which for them. imbibing was an of import societal ritual and built-in portion of their community.

Nativism finally gave rise to secret societies created against immigrants. In 1850. many of these groups combined to organize the Supreme Order of the Star Spangled Banner. This order banned nonnative people from keeping public office. and required them to take a literacy trial in order to vote. The bias and unfairness with which the immigrants were treated was non democratic when compared to the reforms of this epoch.

Overall. reform motions between 1825 and 1850 began to assist to spread out democratic ideals in the United States. These reforms did so by trying to get rid of bondage. demanding rights for adult females. contending against alcoholic dependence. and bettering the quality of life for the mentally disabled. These reforms were in the most portion successful and set the phase for set uping equality in the United States irrespective of race. faith. or gender. The reforms have had a great influence on our state today. where everyone is considered equal.

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