Reform Movements in U. S. History Essay
Reform movements have been an important part of the United States history — Reform Movements in U. S. History Essay introduction. Leaders of the Second Awakened believed that their followers had responsibility to improve life on earth, through reform. Not all reformers were influenced by religion. Many were simply moved by the suffering they saw. One of the well known reform movements was in the education field. Americans who had no voice in how they were being treated were a special concern to many reformers, that was one of the reasons why reformed worked hard to help Americans who were imprisoned.
Many Americans had their children taught from home by their parents. In some communities there was school but still reformers saw education in America as a woeful situation. Because there wasn’t a law requiring kids to go to school, most children did not go to school. Reformers stared the public school movement, also called the common school movement, to establish such a system of tax supported public schools. They argued that expanding education would give Americans the knowledge and ability to understand difficult ideas.
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Education would promote economic growth by supplying knowledgeable workers and help keep wealthy, educated people from oppressing the uneducated poor. Horace Mann leads the public school reform movement, as a leader of the Massachusetts Senate; Mann championed the creation of a state education board. He advanced the idea of free public schools that all children were required to attend by law. Mann also led the fight to abolish corporal, or physical, punishment. He influenced state legislatures across the country to set aside funds to support free public schools.
The reformers faced refusal from reluctant taxpayers and those who thought that education should include religious teaching. Despite opposition, the percentage of American children attending school doubled. Women played a good role in the school reform movement. They petition the legislatures to support public education and became teachers in the new schools. One reformer who changed religious ideals in to action was Dorothea Dix. In 1841, she began teaching at Sunday school in a Massachusetts prison.
She realizes that people suffering from mental illnesses were housed along with hardened criminals; she decided to act to change things. Dix spent two years visiting prisons, she wrote to the state legislature the poor horrors she had seen. Dorothea Dix went on to campaign across the nation, encouraging the other communities to build hospitals for people with mental illnesses. Her campaign was successful and marked the creation of the first modern mental hospitals. Dix and other worked to improve the prisons. Prison reformers thoughts that prisons should make criminals feel penitence, sorrow for their crimes.
The prison reforms movement is called the penitentiary movement. Two types of penitentiaries were proposed by reformers. The Pennsylvania System, advocated by the Philadelphia Society for Alleviating and Miseries of Public Prison embodied in the Eastern State Penitentiary. In the Eastern State prisoners can exercise in individual yards. Therefore, because of Horace Mann, Dorothea Dix, and other reformer changed the lives of children, prisoner, and the sick, they also change the economy and society as a whole.
By: Mike • Essay • 830 Words • December 12, 2009 • 762 Views
Essay title: Reform Movements
During the 19th Century there were many reform movements that took place. Reform movements were movements that were organized to reform or change the certain way of things. Reform movements did not always work but the ones that did greatly changed the way our nation operates today. There were three major reform movements that have altered the nation; the abolitionist movement, the temperance movement and the women’s suffrage movement. Without these movements, and the great leaders involved, many common rights would not exist today.
One of the most important social and political reform movement in United States history was the antislavery movement. This movement and the beliefs that were held by it started many antislavery organizations and abolitionist groups and newspapers. The most well known effect of this movement was the Underground Railroad. The Underground Railroad was started in 1849 when Harriet Tubman escaped from her plantation. She returned to the south numerous times at first to retrieve her family and bring them to slavery, soon she was coming back to help anyone who wanted to escape to freedom with her. The underground Railroad was a route to Canada from the south to the north parts if the country. Along the way were houses belonging to abolitionist, mostly whites, who graciously hide the runaway slaves and then guide them to their next stop on their way to freedom in the north. Over a few years Harriet Tubman manages to lead hundreds of slaves up through the northern states into Canada.
Over the next few years many laws were passed stating the slavery was still legal and any runaway found was to be returned to their owner’s and the punishment was to their discretion. In 1863, after the civil war, President Lincoln decrees that all slaves in Rebel territory (the south) are free on January 1, 1863. A couple years later in 1865 the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution outlaws slavery completely. Although blacks were freed from slavery, some remained on the plantations to work for food and a place to live because although they were not slaves they were still treated inhumane but those who were for slavery.
Another important reform movement was that of women suffrage. In the early 19th century, married women could not enter into contracts without their husband’s consent. Women also lost all title to property or future earnings upon marriage. Children were also legally controlled by the father. Women were also often left without protection against kidnapping or even imprisonment by husbands and other male relatives. Women were also denied educational opportunities in a male dominated society. There were many women involved in this movement but there were a significant few who stood out. Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott organized the Seneca Falls Convention, and many other movements along with many papers and declarations calling for a women’s right to own property and to vote. Later the two formed the National Women’s Suffrage Association.
Over many years of protests and other movements
By: Victor • Essay • 466 Words • December 21, 2009 • 1,175 Views
Essay title: Reform Movements
Throughout American history, there have been many periods of time where reform movements have sought to expand democracy. One of these periods is the era of 1825-1850. There were many events occurring during this time that pushed democracy further. The desire to make America a civilized, almost utopian society and religious revivals occasionally adequately expanded democratic ideals, while movements for equal rights among women and slaves tried to put true democratic ideas on the table. Reform movements in the period of 1825-1850 did much to expand democratic ideals to all white males, but its effect on others was limited.
In the duration of time between the years 1825-1850, many reform movements were occurring as American citizens fought for the reformation of many laws and institutions. There was the temperance movement, aimed toward lessening alcohol consumption, and in extreme cases, the complete abolishment of it, and the women’s rights movement that struggled with the task of equality for women in society and politics. Prison and church reform were also popular causes as people observed the injustices in prisons and viewed certain churches with disdain while American’s sought a different salvation and turned to revivals and camp meetings. There were also the abolitionists and the utopians. The abolitionists found slavery to be inhumane and fought to rid America, especially the south, of human bondage forever. The utopians were people unsatisfied with America’s normal society and as a result created their own societies where their ideals could be lived and taught. In all of the reforms of 1825-1850, America’s democratic ideals were reinforced and spread as people became involved in different causes a