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Chapter 12-1. Improving Society. The Reforming Spirit. 1830’s  Many Americans became interested in social reform~ organized attempts to improve conditions of life. Jacksonian Democracy. Expansion of democracy in the Age of Jackson

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Chapter 12 1

Chapter 12-1

Improving Society


The reforming spirit
The Reforming Spirit

  • 1830’s Many Americans became interested in social reform~ organized attempts to improve conditions of life


Jacksonian democracy
Jacksonian Democracy

  • Expansion of democracy in the Age of Jackson

  • Most states dropped requirements for voting (more white men able to vote)

  • Reformers spoke out strongly against slavery


The second great awakening
The Second Great Awakening

  • Early 1800’s

  • Encouraged reform If we can improve ourselves, we can improve society

  • Many American Protestants believed in predestination~ the idea that God decided the fate of a person’s soul even before birth

  • Leaders of the 2nd Great Awakening preached people’s own actions determined their salvation

  • Charles Finney~ preacher; held many revivals~ huge outdoor religious meetings during 1826


Utopian communities
Utopian Communities

  • Robert Owen founded Utopian community in IN in 1825

  • Called the community New Harmony

    • Residents could raise their own food

    • Manufacture their own goods

  • Community did not turn out to be harmonious

  • Members argued about goals and actions

  • Dissolved in 2 years


The temperance movement
The Temperance Movement

  • Many reformers supported the temperance movement~ an organized effort to end alcohol abuse and the problems created by it

  • Most reformers favored moderation of alcohol

  • Other people called for prohibition~ a total ban on the sale and consumption of alcohol


Prison reform
Prison Reform

  • Previously harsh conditions

  • Poorly heated, inadequate food, cramped conditions

  • Many people were ones who could not pay back their debt (not necessarily criminals)

  • Could not earn money while in jail---would stay locked up for years

  • Dorothea Dix —MA School teacher

  • Convinced state legislatures to build new, more sanitary, and more humane prisons

  • Debtors no longer sent to jail


Mentally ill reform
Mentally ill Reform

  • Dorothea Dix

  • Outraged when she found out the mentally ill were housed in the prisons

  • Reported her sightings

    • Woman in a cage

    • Man losing the use of his limbs from lack of exercise

    • People chained up

  • Her reporting persuaded the MA legislature to fund new mental hospitals


Education reform
Education Reform

  • First public schools were located where???

  • Horace Mann~ took lead in education reform

  • Convinced MA to improve its public school system

  • Created colleges to train teachers

  • Raised the salaries of teachers

  • Lengthened the school year

  • Other states soon followed this example


Education for african americans
Education for African Americans

Reformers met with resistance

Free African American educators opened up their own schools

1855—MA became the 1st state to admit African American students to public schools

Some attended private colleges

1854—Ashmun Institute (later called Lincoln University)…the nation’s first college for African American men


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