Developing the American Identity 1820-1880 (Education (School was really…
Developing the American Identity 1820-1880
School was really important but not everybody had access to it. But in the South, the rich had good educations.
Education was based off of Christian and biblical values. Taxes were being used to fund free public schools. Land grants were given to construct schools. That's really all, sorry big G.
More and more people in the North began to support abolitionism in the 1800s as slavery spread throughout the South.
Frederick Douglass: A former slave who taught himself to read and escaped slavery. He became a skilled orator and gave many speeches across the country against slavery.
Harriet Tubman: A slave who escaped slavery and helped others gain freedom through the Underground Railroad. She also served in the Union Army during the Civil War.
Harriet Beecher Stove: An abolitionist who wrote Uncle Tom's Cabin, a book that described slavery and caused many people to turn against it.
Susan B Anthony: An abolitionist who was rejected from a conference because she was a women. She later founded the feminist movement.
There were many reasons why the abolitionist movement became popular in the North.
There were many pieces of literature that drove people against slavery as well. Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stove was a book that described the horrors of slavery and caused many Northerners to publicly oppose slavery. The Liberator and other abolitionist newspapers wrote anti slavery pieces that were distributed amongst many and were even banned in the South.
Although many abolitionists were against slavery. Many did not believe in social equality between blacks and whites as they did not see the two races as equal.
Many former slaves gave testimonies that spoke against slavery and its horrors, including Frederick Douglass.
Because of the Second Great Awakening, religiosity grew among Americans. Therefore, many people used a religious argument against slavery. Others believed it was socially or morally wrong and therefore were against it.
Against the selling and usage of liquor in the United States. Also a result of the Second Great Awakening. Supported by members of other movements including abolitionists and feminists.
One of the main reasons for all the reform movements was the growing religiousness.
Second Great Awakening
Revival of religion as a reaction against the Enlightenment as it had led to more liberal beliefs being preached by churches.
In the South, Baptists and Methodists, travel preachers attracted millions of nondenominational people, and eventually became the largest churches in the country
In New York, a Presbyterian minister Charles G Finney appealed to emotions and fear, instead of the rational thought of the Enlightenment
A group called the Millerites believed the world would end on Oct. 21, 1844. Nothing happened. They became the Seventh Day Adventists.
Mormons were founded and based on the Book of Mormon which traced Israel and the Native Americans. The Mormons fled to New Zion and created their own society but pissed off the government.
As women started working in factories and mills, they started demanding more rights.
Civil War: Many men left to go fight so the women were left to tend the shops and businesses and so they wanted equal rights.
Limited influence: Women weren't allowed in other movements like abolitionism and so wanted more influence.
The SGA: Church support for equality for women.
Many women began to educate themselves and so they wanted better opportunities.
Reaction against the Cult of Domesticity.
In Europe, Enlightenment thoughts were replaced by romanticism which emphasized feelings and nature.
New England romanticists and thinkers who questioned the church and merchants. Challenged materialism and believed expressing yourself was important.View organized institutions as unimportant
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882): Wrote essays and gave speeches that were very nationalistic towards America. He argued against copying Europe and towards creating a new American identity. He argued for self sufficiency, independence, and spirituality. He was against slavery.
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862): A friend of Emerson who lived in a cabin for two years outside of town. Wrote a book called Walden based on his observations and gave truths about life and the universe. One of the first ecologists and conservationists. Advocate of nonviolence and civil disobedience. His work influenced Gandhi and MLK Jr.
Brook Farm: A community of transcendentalists who lived together on a farm in Massachusetts. The goal was to achieve a natural union between intellectual and manual labor. Many great intellectuals including Emerson lived here for some time. However, it closed after a fire.
Communal experiments attempted to find new ways of living and wanted to create utopias. Most of them failed.
Examples include; Brooke Farm an intellectual community, Fruitlands a farm that had no farmers, New Harmony another intellectual community, and the Shakers a furniture community.
Arts and Literature
Arts and Literature developed the American identity greatly and distinguished it culturally from Europe.
Books that were written in this time followed Enlightenment and romantic ideas.
Arts also were based off of romantic and Enlightenment themes and ideas.