WA5HIS113 - Discuss the objectives sought by reformers in...

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Discuss the objectives sought by reformers in each of the following movements: temperance, education, prison, women's rights, and antislavery. How did the Grimke sisters combine the last two reform movements? Americans built a number of institutions during the second quarter of the 19 th century and social movements dedicated to improving the morals of individuals and of society in general (Brinkley). Transcendentalism thought that fate was not predetermined and that a person could strive for a faith based life. There were institutional reforms concerning prisons and asylums. In the northern states, evangelicals proposed a new idea for prisons. They felt that the focus should be to improve their souls, rather than strict punishment. In Pennsylvania their prisons focused on solitude with only Bibles to keep them company. Many states adopted the Auburn System, which took its name from a pioneering prison in New York (Brinkley). This system focused on prisoners sleeping solitude but worked in groups—though a policy of absolute silence was enforced. The products of prison workshops were sold to outside markets. Middle class evangelicals assumed that poverty, crime, family violence, poor child rearing, and almost every other social ill was traceable to heavy drinking. A sober citizenry, they argued, would result in a society free of crime and violence, filled with happy homes and quiet streets (Brinkley). In the 1840s working people formed their own temperance movement, first through the Washingtonian Temperance Society, and then through temperance lodges. Members of both groups turned in the 1850s to campaigns for statewide prohibition. Beginning
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with Maine in 1851, 13 states adopted legislation that outlawed alcohol by 1855 (Brinkley). Of those states, all but Delaware were in the North. The great belief of Northern middle class evangelicalism was that human nature was not irreparably damaged by original sin. They believed that life was not predetermined. In the 17th and 18th centuries Protestants had firmly believed that nearly all of mankind was damned (Brinkley). They believed only a few would be saved and only by the grace of God, not by anything the individual did or didn’t do. These Protestants also thought that most human beings were
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