The Reform Movement

Reformers Of The 19th Century

Mental Health/Prison Reform

The year 1841 also marked the beginning of the superintendence of Dr. John Galt at Eastern Lunatic Asylum, in Williamsburg, Virginia, the first publicly supported psychiatric hospital in America. Warehousing of the sick was primary; their care was not. Dr. Galt had many revolutionary ideas about treating the insane, based on his conviction that they had dignity. Among his enlightened approaches were the use of drugs, the introduction of "talk therapy" and advocating outplacement rather than lifelong stays.

American Temperance Society

The American Temperance Society (ATS), first known as the American Society for the Promotion of Temperance, was established in Boston, Massachusetts on February 13, 1826. The organization was co-founded by two Presbyterian ministers, Dr. Justin Edwards and the better-known Lyman Beecher. A temperance movement is a social movement urging personal moderation in the consumption of alcoholic beverages.

Education Reform

Education reform is the name given to a demand with the goal of changing public education . In modern years, education reform desires to reform an existing system, as opposed to revolutionizing, supplanting, or providing competition to it. In the United States, therefore, education reform acknowledges and encourages public education as the primary source of K-12 education for American youth. These reformers desire to make public education more effective, with higher standards, higher achievement, and higher focus on the needs of students. Additionally, great focus has been given to closing the gap between racial and economic divides, and is perhaps one of the most important issues facing the country. Horace Mann, often called the Father of the Common School, began his career as a lawyer and legislator. When he was elected to act as Secretary of the newly-created Massachusetts Board of Education in 1837, he used his position to enact major educational reform.

Women's Rights

The first women's rights convention is held in Seneca Falls, New York. After 2 days of discussion and debate, 68 women and 32 men sign a Declaration of Sentiments, which outlines grievances and sets the agenda for the women's rights movement. A set of 12 resolutions is adopted calling for equal treatment of women and men under the law and voting rights for women.
Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton form the National Woman Suffrage Association. The primary goal of the organization is to achieve voting rights for women by means of a Congressional amendment to the Constitution.

Abolition Movement

The goal of the abolitionist movement was the immediate emancipation of all slaves and the end of racial discrimination and segregation. William Lloyd Garrison. In 1831, Garrison founded The Liberator, which would become the most famous and influential of abolitionist newspapers. That same year, Virginia debated emancipation, marking the last movement for abolition in the South prior to the Civil War. Instead, that year the Southampton Slave Riot, also called Nat Turner’s Rebellion, resulted in Virginia passing new regulations against slaves.Frederick Douglass—a former slave who had been known as Frederick Bailey while in slavery and who was the most famous black man among the abolitionists