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Day 62: The Ferment of Reform and Culture. Baltimore Polytechnic Institute November 27, 2012 A/A.P . U.S. History Mr. Green. Rise of a Mass Democracy. Objectives: Students will analyze antebellum reform movements including religion, education, prohibition, and women’s rights.

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day 62 the ferment of reform and culture

Day 62: The Ferment of Reform and Culture

Baltimore Polytechnic Institute

November 27, 2012

A/A.P. U.S. History

Mr. Green

rise of a mass democracy
Rise of a Mass Democracy


Students will analyze antebellum reform movements including religion, education, prohibition, and women’s rights.

Describe the widespread revival of religion in the early nineteenth century and its effects on American culture and social reform.

Describe the cause of the most important American reform movements of the period, identifying which were most successful and why.

AP Focus

The Second Great Awakening releases a torrent of religious fervor, combining a belief in moral self-improvement and a wish to expand democracy by means of evangelicalism. Religion and Reform are among the new AP themes.

From the 1830s to 1850s, the nation experiences a burst of reform activity. Various movements set out to democratize the nation further by combating what they see as institutions and ideas that thwart the expression of democratic values and principles.

chapter focus
Chapter Focus

Chapter Theme

The spectacular religious revivals of the Second Great Awakening reversed a trend toward secular rationalism in American culture and helped to fuel a spirit of social reform. In the process, religion was increasingly feminized, while women, in turn, took the lead in movements of reform, including those designed to improve their own condition.


Continue your work on Presidential Election Charts 1836, 1840, 1844, 1848

Decades Chart for the 1840’s due Monday

Quiz on Thursday covering Chapter 15

reform and culture
Reform and Culture

Cooperative societies virtually all failed or changed their methods sooner or later

New Harmony – colony sank out of confusion

Brook Farm – lost a new building before it was finished in 1846, collapsed in debt

Oneida Community – free love, birth control, eugenics to get better offspring

Lasted 30 years making good steel traps and silver plates

Shakers – Upstate New York

Extinct by 1940 because they prohibited marriage and sex

dawn of scientific achievemet
Dawn of Scientific Achievemet

Prof. Benjamin Silliman, Prof. Louis Agassiz, Prof. Asa Gray, John J. Audubon – Birds of America

Audubon Society for the protection of birds


bleeding was common cure, smallpox plagues still an issue, yellow fever in Philadelphia 1793, malaria, no knowledge of germs and sanitation

Life expectancy was 40 years for a white born in 1850

Decayed teeth, tooth extraction done by blacksmith

Fad diets

Medicine by regular doctors was harmful

Surgery performed after stiff whiskey, patient tied down

Laughing gas and ether developed in early 1840s


Artistic Achievements

Imitated European models – public buildings in Greek and Roman style

1820-1850 Greek revival

Thomas Jefferson brought classical designs with Monticello

Painting suffered because people just didn’t have time. Working hard for dollars

Early painters went to England

People thought it was a sinful waste of time

Some competent painters like Gilbert Stuart, Charles Wilson Peale (MD), John Trumbull

Hudson River School known for landscapes

Painting’s competition was the daguerreotype in 1839

Minstrel shows – white actors in blackface singing “darky music”

Stephen Foster went to the south once, then went back to PA to write some of the most popular American folk music – captured spirit of the slaves

blossoming of a national literature
Blossoming of a National Literature

Most Americans wrote political essays, not literature

Common Sense, Federalist papers

After 1812, nationalism increased and the northeast wasn’t too focused on surviving – had time to write

Knickerbocker Group in NY, Washington Irving, James Fenimore Cooper, William Cullen Bryant

trumpeters of transcendentalism
Trumpeters of Transcendentalism

Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson celebrated what literary movement?

Transcendentalism – truth transcends the senses, cannot be found by observation alone, everyone has inner light that can illuminate the highest truth and put him or her in direct touch with God -no precise definition


-self-reliance, self-culture, self-discipline

Thoreau was jailed for not paying taxes – condemned a government that supported slavery

glowing literary lights
Glowing Literary Lights

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

  • Poetry

John Greenleaf Whittier

  • Influenced social action

James Russell Lowell

  • Poet

Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes

  • Anatomy teacher

Louisa May Alcott

  • Little Women

Emily Dickinson

William Gilmore Simms

literary individualists dissenters
Literary Individualists/Dissenters

Edgar Allen Poe

Orphaned, had diseases, wife died of TB at 13

Failed to kill himself, went to drinking

Horror writing

Nathaniel Hawthorne

Scarlet Letter

Struggle between good and evil, original sin

Herman Melville

Moby Dick

Stories of the south seas where he traveled and escaped cannibals

portrayers of the past
Portrayers of the Past

George Bancroft

  • Helped found Naval Academy
  • History of the U.S. to 1789

William H. Prescott

  • Accounts of conquest of Mexico and Peru
  • France v. Britain in colonial times


  • New Englanders

Finish reading all of Chapter 15

12 Question reading check at the beginning of class.