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Abby Carter

on 30 April 2015

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What are the Reform Movements?
The American Reform took place in the late 1800's. The Reform consists of various movements to help the United States develop a more democratic nation. One of the movements is the Temperance Movement.
The Temperance Movement
In the 1800's, alcohol use was a major problem. Alcoholism resulted in an increase of spouse abuse and unemployment. As a result of these, The Temperance Movement was born. Individuals involved in this movement, (mainly women), were helping to "purify" the new nation.
Key Figures Involved
Important figures involved in this movement were mainly abused and religious women. They believed drinking alcohol was a sin. These key figures included:
Carrie Nation
Frances Willard
Wayne Wheeler
Dr. Dio Lewis
Carrie Nation
"The lips that touch liquor shall never touch mine." These were the wise words of Carrie Nation. Carrie was born on November 25, 1846. In 1867, Carrie married Dr. Charles Gloyd, a severe alcoholic. Shortly after they split, Gloyed died of alcoholism. His death ignited a flare in Carrie no one had ever witnessed before. She attacked saloons with an ax, spoke her mind about the banning of alcohol in Kansas, and forming the Women's Christian Temperance Union.
Hardships Encountered
Even though members of the Temperance movement had the same motivation, many grew apart form each other rather than uniting. This is because of the different levels of Temperance. Hypocrisy also led many members/ followers to rise against their leaders. Alcohol sold for medical purposes also led to mobs and riots.
The movement later became the reason for the addition of the 18th Amendment establishing national Prohibition. This amendment resulted in widespread production of untaxed and unregulated liquor. It also increased organized crime and violence. Even thought Prohibition was repealed in 1933, this movement was the first time women actually spoke their mind and shared thoughts, later leading the US into the Women's Right Movement Era, creating a more democratic society.
Modern Day Reform Movement
Reform movements still exist today, but in a different way. These movements are highly expressed through social media and television rather than protest. One example of modern day reform is the legalization of same sex marriage, or gay rights.
Key Figures
Many people who are against the legalization of same sex marriage are often highly religious based. However, there are many key figures who argue and prove otherwise against their views. These people include:
Harvey Milk
Charlie Howard
Sharon and Tyler Bottoms
James Dale
Matthew Sheppard
Harvey Milk
Harvey Milk was the first openly gay person to a public office in California in the year of 1951. However, Harvey was assassinated in 1978, not because of his sexuality, but because of a jealous politician who clearly wanted his job back!
Obstacles Faced
Even though Harvey defeated some protesters of gay rights, hundreds are killed just because of their sexuality each year.
Reason For Reform
The legalization of same sex marriage is important to society today, because it follows the 3rd Principle of Democracy, Political Tolerance. This says that democratic societies should be accepting of the minority. Tnis also states that the minority of people shall have the same protected rights of the majority. This IS NOT happening in society today. Read about Sharon and Tyler Bottoms for proof.
Sharon and Tyler Bottoms
In April of 1993, Kay Bottoms sued her daughter for custody of her son ,Tyler, primarily because she was a lesbian. The two went to court and the judge ruled that Sharon was unfit to be a parent and gave full custody of Tyler to her mother. Sharon was only allowed two visitations per week, but Tyler could never come to her house or be anywhere near her partner. HOW IS THIS FAIR?
The Growth of American Democracy
Reform movements such as the Temperance Movement have both positively and negatively impacted the growth of American Democracy. For example, the Women's Suffrage Movement impacted democracy because of the 2nd Principle of Democracy, equality. However, the Temperance Movement impacted part negatively on democracy, because it resulted in riots, fights, and an increase in crime. People today have shaped democracy today like the movements mentioned through protests, groups, challenging courts, and social media
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