07 - The Reform Impulse in Antebellum America

07 - The Reform Impulse in Antebellum America - The Reform...

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March 19, 2008 The Reform Impulse in Antebellum America I. Key Causes of Reform Movements a. Second great awakening: Individual Salvation and Social Progress i. Charles Finney – at the center of the revival 1. Emphasized the possibility of individual salvation through faith 2. Believed it could improve American Democracy on top of it ii. Encourages people to link individual salvation to individual progress iii. Challenges religious sentiment in the social sphere b. Expansion of White Male Voting Rights i. Led many reformers to instill proper moral values in these men ii. Make them “good citizens” so they can be responsible voters iii. Led to reformers looking at other social groups c. Middle Class concern with widespread social problems i. Success and Prosperity is available if you work hard enough ii. Reformers encourage and/or force individuals to adopt traits like self sacrifice and sobriety d. Belief that white women morally superior creates opportunities for female reformers i. Women played a central role in almost all of these movements II. Roots of Reform a. Central Idea: Social reforms facilitate individual achievement and self-improvement
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07 - The Reform Impulse in Antebellum America - The Reform...

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