American reform movements in the late 1700s and mid 1800s strived at improving our growing society. With the expansion of America came the expansion of the population. Due to the expansion, various new ideas sprung up. Clashing opinions between the people of the United States caused the emergence of an Age of Reform, where people tried to change things that needed fixing. Events such as the Second Great Awakening, the Temperance Movement, and Women’s Rights Movements were just some of the many reform movements that occurred in America at this time.
The Second Great Awakening was a religious revival in the early 19th century. People in America during this time were no longer attending church services regularly. These revivals were held as camp meetings. The world of God was told by religious leaders.
These services were often emotional and served as social gatherings. People living in the Frontier did not typically have regular contact with their neighbors so these revivals gave people living in the frontier and people in general the chance to communicate with one another and hear God’s word. The temperance movement was a serious social problem in America. The U.S. Government decided on completely banning the drinking of alcohol. The reason for the movement was that alcohol was being consumed at too high of a rate. During this time, alcohol was being consumed at breakfast and was even consumed by children.
People looked to drunkenness as a threat to public morality. The temperance movement was an attempt to eliminate the bad side effects alcohol had on our people. By 1826, clergymen established the American Temperance Society. It coronated with churches and others to spread the word of abstinence of alcohol. Women’s Rights were brought to light during the Age of Reforms. In America during this time, women often played a lesser role in society.
Women typically stayed home to take care of the house and children, and they were not involved in politics. This movement led by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott held a women’s rights conference at the Seneca Fall Convention in New York. At the convention they wrote the Declaration of Women’s Rights. In their declaration, the rejection of cult domesticity was addressed, and it also demanded women should have the right to vote and have the right to control their property just as their husbands did.
The effort of individuals like Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, and many others played a large part in the reform of America. The temperance movement, the Second Great Awakening, and the uprising of Women’s rights helped shape us to who we are today, and these reforms have affected our lives culturally, religiously and socially for us the better.