Antebellum Reform Readings with Questions

Antebellum Reform Readings with Questions - Religion and...

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Religion and Social Reform – An Overview Roots of Reform From 1801 for years a blessed revival of religion spread through almost the entire inhabited parts of the West .... The Presbyterians and Methodists in a great measure united in this work, met together, prayed together, and preached together .... They would erect their camps with logs or frame them, and cover them with clapboards or shingles. They would also erect a shed, sufficiently large to protect five thousand people from wind and rain, and cover it with boards or shingles; build a large stand, seat the shed, and here they would collect together from forty to fifty miles around, sometimes further than that. Ten, twenty, and sometimes thirty ministers of different denominations would come together and preach night and day, four or five days together .... A new exercise broke out among us, called the jerks, which was overwhelming in its effects upon the bodies and minds of the people. No matter whether they were saints or sinners, they would be taken under a warm song or sermon, and seized with a convulsive jerking all over, which they could not by any possibility avoid, and the more they resisted the more they jerked .... I have seen more than five hundred persons jerking at one time in my large congregations .... The first jerk or so, you would see their fine bonnets, caps, and combs fly; and so sudden would be the jerking of the head that their long loose hair would crack almost as loud as a wagoner's whip. Peter Cartwright Social Reform Reading 1: Working Man's Advocate, 1830 The elementary schools throughout the state are irresponsible institutions, established by individuals, from mere motives of private speculation or gain, who are sometimes destitute of character, and frequently of the requisite attainments and abilities. From the circumstance of the schools being the absolute property of individuals, no supervision or effectual control can be exercised over them; hence, ignorance, inattention, and even immorality, prevail to a lamentable extent among their teachers. Reading 2: Philadelphia National Gazette, 1830 The scheme of Universal Equal Education at the expense, is virtually "Agrarianism." It would be a compulsory application of the means of the richer, for the direct use of the poorer classes; and so far an arbitrary division of property among them .... One of the chief excitements to industry...is the hope of earning the means of educating their children respectably ...that incentive would be removed, and the scheme of state and equal education be a premium for comparative idleness, to be taken out of the pockets of the laborious and conscientious.
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