Developing American Identity 1820-1880 (Religion/ Utopian Society (The…
Developing American Identity 1820-1880
The high rate of alcohol consumption (5 gallons of hard liquor per person in 1820) prompted reformers to target alcohol as the cause of social ills, and explains why temperance became the most popular of the reform movements
The movement itself began by using moral pressure. In 1826 Protestant ministers and others concerned with drinking and its effects founded the American Temperance Society. The society tried to persuade drinkers to take a pledge of total abstinence.
German and Irish immigrants were largely opposed to the temperance movement but lacked the political power to prevent state and city governments from passing reforms.
Maine had become the first state to prohibit the manufacture and sale of intoxicating liquors. 12 states had followed Maine before the Civil War.
In the 1850s the issue of slavery came to overshadow the temperance movement. However the movements would once again gain strength in the late 1870s and achieve national success with the passage of the 18th amendment in 1919.
Opponents of slavery ranged from moderates who proposed gradual abolition to radicals who demanded immediate abolition without compensating their owners. The Second Great Awakening led many Christians to view slavery as a sin. This moral view made compromise with defenders of slavery difficult.
Liberty Party: Garrisons radicalism soon led to a split in the abolitionist movement. Believing that political action was a more practical route to reform than Garrisons moral crusade, a group of Northerners formed the Liberty party in 1840.
The party's one campaign pledge was to bring about the end of slavery by political and legal means.
Black Abolitionists: Escaped slaves and free African Americans were among the most outspoken and convincing critics of slavery. A former slave such as Frederick Douglass could speak about the brutality and degradation of slavery from firsthand experience. An early follower of Garrison, Douglass later advocated both political and direct action to end slavery and racial prejudice.
In 1847 Douglass started the antislavery journal The North Star. Other African American leaders such as Harriet Tubman, David Ruggles, Sojourner Truth, and William Still, helped organize the effort to assist fugitive slaves escape to free territory in the North or to Canada where slavery was prohibited.
American Antislavery Society: In 1831, William Lloyd Garrison began the publication of an abolitionist newspaper, The Liberator, an event that marks the beginning of the radical abolitionist movement. Garrison advocated immediate abolition of slavery in every state and territory without compensating the owners.
In 1833, Garrison and other abolitionists founded the American Antislavery Society and stepped up their attacks by condemning and burning the Constitution as a pro slavery document. He argued for "No union with slaveholders" until they repented for their sins by freeing their slaves.
Violent Abolitionism: David Walker and henry Highland Garnet were two northern African Americans who advocated the most radical solution to the slavery question. They argued that slaves should take action themselves by rising up in revolt against their owners.
In 1831, a Virginia slave named Nat Turner led a revolt in which 55 whites were killed. In retaliation the whites killed hundreds of African Americans in brutal fashion and put down the revolt.
Before the Nat Turner rebellion there had been some antislavery sentiment and discussion in the South. After the revolt, fear of future uprisings as well as Garrison's inflamed rhetoric put an end to antislavery talk in the South
American Colonization Society: The idea of transporting freed slaves to an African colony was first tried in 1817 with the founding of the American Colonization Society. This appealed to moderate antislavery reformers and politicians, in part because whites with racist attitudes hoped to remove free blacks from the US.
The focus on the need for establishing free public schools for children of all classes was middle class reformers who were motivated by the fears for the future of the republic posed by growing numbers of the uneducated poor-- btohe immigrant and native-born.
FREE COMMON SCHOOLS: Horace Mann was the leading advocate for the public school movement. Mann was the secretary of the newly founded Massachusetts Board of Education. Mann strived for compulsory attendance for all children, a longer school year, and increased teacher preparation.
In the 1840s the movement for public schools spread rapidly to other states.
HIGHER EDUCATION: The religious enthusiasm of the Second Great Awakening helped fuel the growth of private colleges. Beginning in 1830s various Protestant denominations founded small denominational colleges.
Adult education was furthered by lyceum lecture societies which brought speakers such as Ralph Waldo Emerson to small-town audiences.
MORAL EDUCATION: Educational reformers wanted children to learn not only basic literacy but also moral principles. William Holmes McGuffey from Pennsylvania created a series of elementary textbooks that became widely used to teach reading and morality.
Objecting to the Protestant tone of the public schools, Roman Catholics founded private schools for the instruction of Catholic children.
Religion/ Utopian Society
The Second Great Awakening
Religious revivals were partly a reaction against the rationalism, the belief of human reason, which had been the fashion during the enlightenment and the American Revolution. Calvinism provided a counterattack against these liberal views in the 1790s
The second great awakening had begun among educated people included Timothy Dwight, the president of Yale college. T. Dwight's campus revivals motivated young men to become evangelical preachers
In the South, Baptist and Methodist circuit preachers like Peter Cartwright travelled from location to another and attracted thousand to hear their dramatic preaching at outdoor revivals, or camp meetings.
By 1850 the Baptists and Methodists were the largest Protestant denominations in the country
A lot of the religious boom at the time was based upon the widespread belief that the world was going to end with the second coming of Jesus.
One preacher, William Miller predicted a specific date (October 21, 1844) and gained tens of thousands of followers and even though nothing happened on that day the Millerites continued as a new Christian denomination , the Seventh-Day Adventists.
Presbyterian minister Charles G. Finney in New York instead of delivering sermons based on rational argument, Finney appealed to peoples emotion and fear of damnation. Appealed to the rising middle class.
The Mormons, or the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints was founded by Joseph Smith in 1830, who was murdered by a local mob. And to escape persecution Mormons migrated to the far western frontier of the Great Salt Lake in utah.
The Second Great Awakening caused new division in the society between the newer, evangelical sects and the older Protestant churches. It affected all sections of the country. Activist religious groups provided both the leadership and the well-organized voluntary societies that drove the reform movements of the antebellum era.
The impact of the Industrial Revolution was redefining the family. Industrialization reduced the economic value of children.
More affluent women now had the leisure to devote to religious and moral uplift organizations. The New York Female Moral Reform Society, for example, worked to prevent the impoverished young women from being forced into lives of prostitution.
Women's Rights: Women reformers, especially those involved in the anti-slavery movement, resented the way men relegated them to secondary roles in the movement and prevented them from taking part fully in political discussions.
Sarah and Angelica Grimke objected male opposition to their antislavery activities and in protest Sarah Grimke wrote her Letter on the Condition of Women and the Equality of the Sexes. (1837)
Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton began campaigning for women's rights after they had been barred from speaking at an antislavery convention.
Seneca Falls Convention (1848): THe leading feminists met a Seneca Falls, New York. At the conclusion of their convention- the first women's rights convention in American history- they issued a document closely modeled after the Declaration of Independence which declared that "all men and women are created equal" and listed women's grievances against laws and customs that discriminated against them.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony led the campaign for equal voting, legal, and property rights for women. In the 1850s, however, the issue of women's rights was overshadowed by the crisis over slavery.
Cult of Domesticity: In traditional farm families, men were the moral leaders. However when men took jobs outside the home like in factories or an office they were absent for most of the time.
As a result, the women in these households who remained at home took charge of the household and children. The idealized view of women as moral leaders in the home is called the cult of domesticity.