The Ferment of Reform and Culture

Report
The Ferment of
Reform & Culture
1790-1860
Religion in America
• 75% of 23 million attended
church regularly
• Religion had become more
liberal
• 1794 – Thomas Paine’s
The Age of Reason
attacked the church
The Rise of Popular Religion
In France, I had almost always seen
the spirit of religion and the spirit of
freedom pursuing courses diametrically
opposed to each other; but in America,
I found that they were intimately
united, and that they reigned in common
over the same country… Religion was the
foremost of the political institutions of
the United States.
-- Alexis de Tocqueville, 1832
R1-1
• Deism
–Franklin & Jefferson
–Relied on reason over faith
• Unitarianism
–belief in God as one person
not the Trinity
–Stressed the essential
goodness of human beings
• Embraced by
intellectuals
such as
Ralph Waldo
Emerson
The Second Great
Awakening
• 1800 - began as a backlash
against the liberalism of the
Age of Reason
• Led to an era of evangelism
& reform
• Effects:
–“Born-again” Christians
–Reorganized churches &
new sects
–New reform movements:
• Temperance
• Abolitionism
• Women’s Movement
• Prison Reform
• Methodists & Baptists led
camp meetings
–sent missionaries to the
Indians & overseas
–Peter Cartwright
• Methodist “circuit rider”
preacher
Second Great Awakening Revival Meeting
• Charles Grandison Finney
–Greatest of
revival
preachers
–Conducted
revivals in
eastern cities
Charles G. Finney
(1792 – 1895)
“soul-shaking”
conversion
R1-2
The ranges of tents, the
fires, reflecting light…; the
candles and lamps illuminating
the encampment; hundreds
moving to and fro…;the
preaching, praying, singing,
and shouting,… like the sound
of many waters, was enough
to swallow up all the powers
of contemplation.
New Religious Sects
• “Burned-Over District”
–Western NY
• Adventists (Millerites)
–William Miller led to believe
the second coming was to
happen on Oct. 22, 1844
“Burned-Over” District in Upstate NY
• Class & region lines
widened as well
–Southern & northern
churches broke apart over
slavery
–Foreshadowing of secession
• Mormons
–1830 – Joseph
Smith founded
Mormon
church
• Claims to have
been given
golden plates
by the Angel
Moroni
• Plates
constituted the
Book of Mormon
& gave rise to
the Church of
Jesus Christ of
Latter Day Saints
• Mormons followed Smith west
to Ohio, Missouri & finally
Illinois
• Persecuted for cooperativism,
voting as a unit, having their
own militia, & practicing
polygamy
• 1844: Joseph Smith & his
brother were killed by a mob in
Carthage, IL
• 1846-47: Brigham Young led
Mormons to Salt Lake, Utah
–5000 settled by 1848
The Mormon Trek
• 1850: Young
becomes
territorial
governor
• 1859: “Mormon
War”
–Federal troops
forced Mormons
to submit to
Federal authority
Education Reforms
• Free tax-supported
education slowly gained
support at all levels of
society (1825-1850)
–The Little Red Schoolhouse
& the “3 R’s”
Winslow Homer
Horace Mann
• Led the crusade
for better
teachers, better
schools & longer
school years
• Helped create “normal
schools”
–Teaching colleges to
train teachers
Noah Webster
• “Schoolmaster
of the Republic”
• Improved
textbooks &
standardized an
American
dictionary
William H. McGuffey
• Created McGuffey’s
Readers
• Taught grammar,
morality,
patriotism, &
idealism to grade
schoolers
Higher Education
• Second Great Awakening
led to the creation of many
small, denominational
liberal-arts colleges
• Federal land grant colleges
University of Virginia 1819
• Founded & designed by
Thomas Jefferson
• Founded as a non-religious
institution dedicated to
science & modern language
Women’s Education
• Considered frivolous
• 1821 – Emma Willard
established the Troy
Female Seminary
• 1837 – Oberlin College
admitted women after
already having admitted
Blacks
• Mary Lyon established
Mount Holyoke Seminary
in Mass.
The Lyceums
• Travelling lecturers made
the circuit
• Gave talks on science,
literature, & philosophy
• Ralph Waldo Emerson
Age of Reform
• Most driven by evangelical
Christians
• Reform movements
included:
–Education
–Women’s rights
–Communal living
–Slavery
–Medical programs
–Polygamy
–Celibacy
–Anti-tobacco
–Anti-alcohol
–Mail on Sundays
Memory Aid
• A Totally Wicked Elephant
Made People Devour Worms
•
•
•
•
Abolition
Temperance
Women’s Rights
Education
•
•
•
•
Mental Inst.
Prisons
Debtors prisons
War
• Women very involved in
abolitionism, women’s
suffrage & other reforms
Prison Reform
• Laboring class voted for
an end to debtors prisons
• Number of capital crimes
reduced
• Prisons called to reform
instead of punish
Dorothea Dix
• Traveled 60,000 miles
chronicling the abuses
against the mentally ill
• Petitioned Massachusetts
Legislature to improve
conditions
American Peace Society
• Anti-war group led by
William Ladd called for
an end to all war
Temperance Movement
• Custom & hard lifestyle
led to widespread alcohol
abuse
• 1826 – American
Temperance Society
formed
• Temperance
–moderation in use of
alcohol
• Prohibition
–make alcohol illegal
Ten Nights in a Barroom
and What I Saw There
• Novel by T.S. Arthur in
1854
• Depicted how a stable
village was transformed by
a new tavern
“The Drunkard’s Progress”
the first glass to the grave, 1846
• Neal S. Dow
–sponsored the Maine Law
of 1851
–prohibited the manufacture
& sale of alcohol
–12 states had laws by 1857
Annual Consumption of Alcohol
Women’s Rights
• Industrial Rev. had
separated men & women
into distinct roles
• Women physically &
emotionally weak yet
artistic & refined
• “Cult of domesticity”
Lucretia Mott
Elizabeth
Cady Stanton
• Stanton & Mott organized
Seneca Falls Conference
• Stanton urged equality,
rights to sue & own property
• Advocated women’s
suffrage
Susan B. Anthony
• Militant
lecturer for
women’s
rights
• Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell
–first female graduate of a
medical college
• Margaret Fuller
–edited The Dial
• Grimke sisters
–spoke against slavery
• Lucy Stone,
abolitionist,
who kept
her maiden
name after
she married
• Amelia
Bloomer wore
a short skirt
with
“Turkish”
trousers
Seneca Falls (1848)
• Women’s Rights Convention
• 61 women, 34 men attended
• “Declaration of Sentiments”
read by Stanton
–“All men & women are created
equal”
–Demanded women’s suffrage
• Launched woman’s rights
movement
• Eclipsed by Abolition &
the Civil War
Utopianism
• 40+ communes created
during the period
• New Harmony (1825)
–Robert Owen established in
Indiana with 1000 people
–Attracted scholars &
scoundrels
Brook Farm (1841)
• 20 transcendentalist
intellectuals
• Successful attempt at
communal living until fire
destroyed the experiment
Oneida Colony (1848)
• Founded in NY
• Experimented in “complex
marriages” & eugenics
• Made & sold steel traps &
silverware
• Troubles with law led to end
Shakers (1776-1940)
• 6000 members in 1840
• Celibacy & simplicity
• Equal spirit of men &
women
• Opposition to marriage &
sex led to extinction
Shaker Meeting
Scientific Achievement
• Practical science
• Nathaniel Bowditch
(Navigation)
• Matthew Maury
(Oceanography)
• Benjamin Silliman (chemist &
geology professor at Yale)
• Louis Aggasiz (biology
professor at Harvard)
• Asa Gray (Botany at Harvard)
• John J. Audubon - painted
birds in the wild
–“Birds of America”
Audubon’s
Birds
• Medicine slow to catch up
to scientific achievement
–Bleeding
–Smallpox plagues
–40 year life expectancy in
1850
–Surgery & whiskey
Artistic
Achievements
• Architecture - Jefferson
• Painting handicapped by
lack of wealthy class &
Puritanism roots
• Moved from portraits to
landscapes
John Singleton Copley
Watson and the Shark
Gilbert
Stuart
Gilbert
Stuart’s
Washington
Charles
Wilson
Peale
John Trumbull
Music
• Minstrels in “blackface”
sang “darky tunes”
• Stephen Foster - “Old
Folks at Home”
Literature
• Essays - The Federalist,
Common Sense.
• Ben Franklin's Autobiography
• The Knickerbocker Group
–Washington Irving
• 1st to gain international
recognition
• Rip Van Winkle
–James Fenimore Cooper
• 1st American novelist to gain
world fame
• Last of the Mohicans
–William Cullen Bryant
• Poet (“Thanatopsis”)
• Editor of the New York
Evening Post
Transcendentalism
• Truth “transcends” the
senses & cannot be found
by observation alone
• Believed people have an
inner light that allows
direct contact with God
• Emphasized individualism
& self-reliance
• Hostile to formal
institutions & conventional
wisdom
Ralph Waldo Emerson
• Famous address to Phi
Beta Kappa “The American
Scholar”
• Stressed self-reliance, selfimprovement, optimism &
freedom as a practical
philosopher
Ralph
Waldo
Emerson
Henry David Thoreau
• Poet & non-conformist
• Walden: Or Life in the
Woods
• Refused to pay taxes to
support war in Mexico
• Civil Disobedience
Walt Whitman
“The Poet
Laureate of
Democracy”
• Romantic, emotional
• Leaves of Grass (1855)
• Wrote of enthusiasm of
expanding America
Literary Lights
• Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
–Historically-based poems
• John Greenleaf Whittier
–Influenced social action
• James Russell Lowell
–Political satirist
• Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes
–Poet
• William Gilmore Simms
–Southern novelist
• Edgar Allan Poe
–Short story author
• Nathaniel Hawthorne
–The Scarlet Letter
• Herman Melville
–Moby Dick
Daily Diversions
• Stage plays: Uncle Tom’s
Cabin & Ten Nights in a
Barroom
• Famous Actors: Edwin
Forrest, Junius Brutus
Booth (sons Edwin Booth
& John W. Booth)
• Horse racing
• Baseball (1845)
NY Knickerbockers 1858
• Showboats
• Circuses
–Phineas T. Barnum “a
sucker is born every
minute”
• Upper class crowd
“summered” at resorts
like Saratoga Springs &
Newport, RI
• Rich often made the
“Grand Tour” of Europe
Alexis de Toqueville
• Democracy in America
(1835)
• Individualism & equality
characterized antebellum
America
The Frontier Experience
• Frederick Jackson Turner
• “Significance of the
Frontier in American
History”
• 1893 essay described that
the frontier forged the
American character

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