Antebellum Reform Movements
By: Ashlee Gilley
Roots of Reform
Event: Era of the common man
Cause: Starting in the 1820's universal white male suffrage spread.
- Andrew Jackson, a "common man" was elected.
- Candidates had to campaign to appeal to common people
- The common man gained more influence in goverment
Issue 1: Mental Hospitals
- Dorothea Dix- Exposed in humane treatment, of the mentally ill.
- States created mental hospitals not prisons, to give the mentally ill proper help.
Issue 2: Prison
- Prisoners treated inhumanly were sometimes jailed just for being in debt.
- Prisons began focusing more rehabilitating prisoners and "debtors prison" was astablished
Issue 3: Public Education
- Education was only affordable for the wealthy
- Many believed the country could only survive if citizens were educated
- Horace Mann- Pushed for public tax supported schools with required attendance
Issue 4: Alcohol abuse
- Many saw alcohol abuse as the root of societies problems.
- Temperance-moderation of alcohol abuse
- The American temperance society convicted many to reduce alcohol use and same states banned the sale of liquor
Issue 5: Womens Rights
- Seneca Falls Convention- started to organized womens rights movement in the U.S in 1848
- Declaration of Sentiments- Declared men and women to be equal.
- Elizabeth Cady Stanton- demanded women suffrage (right to vote)
- Womens rights movement was overshadowed by the biggest reform movement, abolitionism
Issue 6: Abolition of slavery
- Abolitionism- The abolition of slavery was the biggest and most desired issue reform.
- Tension over the issue of slavery contributed to the civil war.