Second Great Awakening (1790-1850)
Revivalist preachers said that God created man as a "free moral agent" -- sinners could not only reform themselves but could also remake the world.
Charles Grandison Finney
Minister who advocated Christian Perfectionism
Promoted social reform such as abolition, equal education for women and African Americans
Taught at Oberlin College of Ohio
Appealed to women
Sparked a wave of social activism.
Denied the trinity (Father/Son/Holy Spirit) - instead, Jesus was a man
Didn't follow emotionalism of revivals
Interpreted the Bible broadly, not literally.
Like evangelicals, they were committed to bettering the world
Presidents: John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, JQ Adams
Reformers: Dorothea Dix, Horace Mann
Transcendentalists: Ralph Waldo Emerson (former Unitarian priest) George Ripley
Began in Europe as reaction against Enlightenment (in U.S. 1820-1860)
Emphasized emotion and intuition as sources of truth.
Glorified unlimited potential of the individual
And sympathized with the oppressed.
Belief that both individuals and society are capable of improvement.
AREAS OF REFORM
Most were middle-class, Christian, white women
Respectable women didn't work
ABOLITION (see entry on slavery)
American Colonization Society
Called for abolition with the "colonization" of freed slaves to Africa
Liberia (capital Monrovia) was founded in 1822 in west Africa as a place for resettlement of free blacks.
Supported by Henry Clay, John Marshall, Daniel Webster, Andrew Jackson.
Not supported by most black people in America nor by Garrison
William Lloyd Garrison - militant abolitionist
In Jan. 1831 Garrison published The Liberator.
He was against gradual emancipation and colonization of free Blacks to Africa
Instead wanted immediate emancipation without compensation to owners.
Theodore Dwight Weld
Co-wrote American Slavery As It Is: Testimony of a Thousand Witnesses in 1839 with Angelina and Sarah Grimke
The book recorded violence against slaves
Harriet Beecher Stowe
Author of Uncle Tom's Cabin in 1852 (partially based on Testimony of a Thousand Witnesses)
Wrote autobiographies about his life as a slave.
Including: Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave in 1845
Father of Harriet Beecher Stowe
Co-founded American Temperance Society in 1826
Believed drunkenness was evil, not alcohol itself.
Encouraged people to "temper" consumption of alcohol/moderation
Believed alcohol itself was dangerous.
Necessary to swear off alcohol tee-totally
Said abstinence was individual responsibility
Wanted prohibition of manufacture and sale of liquor
Per capita consumption peaked in 1820s - more than 7.5 gallons per person each year.
Mostly rum and whiskey.
Dr. Benjamin Rush
Describe physically destructive effects of excessive drinking
Statistics showed crimes committed
Connections between poverty and alcohol
Critics: Irish and German immigrants were hostile to temperance
Successes and Failures
Between 1830 and 1840 consumption of alcohol per person fell by half.
"Dry" states and "wet" states
1845 New York enacted anti-liquor law
Authorizing local governments to forbid the sale of alcohol within their jurisdictions
"Fifteen Gallon Law"
To reduce alcohol consumption among poor, prohibited sale of rum or whiskey in quantities smaller than 15 gallons (ended after 2 years)
Maine Law, 1846
Led by Neal Dow
Adopted first statewide prohibition law.
By 1860, 13 states had followed.
The severely insane were housed in prisons.
Massachusetts school teacher
In 1841 she visited prison and saw helpless insane in cages, chained, naked, beaten.
She persuaded Congress to establish a hospital for the insane in Washington and 15 states to build humane asylums.
Evangelicals introduced idea
that prisons could be place for moral and social rehabilitation, not just punishment
Believed people were curable
Every prisoner would be in solitary confinement day and night except when minister came.
Belief that time to reflect on sinfulness would lead to reform.
but expensive and caused mental breakdowns.
Auburn System (NY)
Prisoners marched to workrooms and dining hall several times a day
Massachusetts lawyer and Whig polititian
Served as director of Massachusetts board of education.
Wanted universal public education so society wasn't so fractured.
Supported tax-supported state system of "common schools" open to all children.
rather than just local schools, private academies, charity schools.
Labor organizations, factory owners, middle-class reformers.
North and South
North: By 1860 every northern state had established tax-supported school system.
South: Lagged behind North
Literate blacks (like Nat Turner) were seen as dangerous to social order
Wealthy white planters didn't want to pay for the poor.
Schools provided job opportunities for women who became teachers.
Co-founded 1st institution for the education of the deaf in North America.
Connecticut Asylum for the Education and Instruction of Deaf and Dumb Persons opened in 1817.
Oberlin College, Ohio
Est. 1833. Open to all genders and races
Women greatly involved in Second Great Awakening
Women considered morally and religiously superior to men, but expected not to stay at home (except teachers)
In 1839 some women organized the American Female Moral Reform Society
1840 several women went with their husbands to an antislavery conference in London - they were denied admission because of their gender.
Seneca Falls, NY 1848
Small group of men and women
Wrote "Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions"
Used wording from Declaration of Independence
"When in the course of human events it becomes necessary..."
Women couldn't vote
Women had to give up their property when they married
Husbands had considerable authority over wives
Exclusion of women from professions.
Declaration signed by 68 women and 32 men
Most were already active in reform
Many were Quakers or evangelicals.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton
Susan B. Anthony (Quaker schoolteacher)
Amelia Jenks Bloomer (advocate of the "bloomer" pants for women)