Tuesday april 6

Tuesday april 6 - Tuesday April 6 2010 The reforming...

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Tuesday April 6, 2010 The reforming Impulse Popular reform movements Temperance- renouncing alcohol Second great awakening- religious movement Charles Finney Female Moral Reform Society Mormonism Public Institution Schools Penitentiaries, asylums, poorhouses The culture of the mid 19 th century “The world’s most democratic society had produced the world’s most despotic prisons” a quote from a Frenchman who traveled to America. There is real faith in the power of human reason to improve humankind. This is an era of increased mobility, and traditional hierarchies are collapsing. There is a kind of break down in moral authority. Popular Reform Movements Beginning in the teens and twenties of the jacksonian Era, changes arise. They are creations of the market revolution, due to the new roads and the overturning of social barriers and structures. Lots are uncomfortable with the changes taking place. Americans are abandoning their beliefs in external control, that the father is in absolute control, but something has to replace it. People believe that without the external control, the community will collapse. A time of rapid change promotes reform. This is now a democracy based on individuals, so it is necessary to create inner self control or the self regulated individual who will be successful in this society. It is believed that the market will award those who are self disciplined. It will award moral fitness and punish those who have a weak moral character. One of the indication is that poor people are considered to be of weak moral character. Financial status reflects the moral character. These anxieties give rise to the reform movement. Temperance It is the greatest reform movement in terms of its impact on individuals. Before Jacksonian era, drinking was considered a normal course. There were lots of everyday occasions where people would drink; it was part of socializing in the 18 th century. Alcohol was cheaper than most drinks like tea and it was safer than water because bacteria could not survive in it. People were heavy drinkers. In 1826, American Temperance Society formed to eliminate drinking, by 1833; a lot of people had renounced drinking altogether. At rallies, they invoked the guilt of people who drank; they considered those who drank to be sinners. The Drunkard’s progress, a cartoon created in 1826, helped to spread the temperance message. They believed that the fate of the republic rests in giving up alcohol. This movement brought a kind of external control and discipline to America. A drinker was a lazy sinner, a source of crime, a source of shiftless and unreliable work patterns. In 1846, there was a picture of someone signing a pledge renouncing alcohol, compared to Washington signing for independence. Another picture, Fruits of Temperance in 1848, showed the happy middle class household without alcohol. Women are particularly important because alcohol was often consumed at home. The home was the sphere of the women, which meant that
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they were responsible for preventing their husband from consuming alcohol. The per capita
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Tuesday april 6 - Tuesday April 6 2010 The reforming...

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