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Chapter 8: Reforming American Society

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by

Jimmy McGee

on 6 October 2013

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Transcript of Chapter 8: Reforming American Society

Factories employed people working at home to make clothing from the thread. This was known as the
cottage industry
system in which manufacturers provided the material for goods to be manufactured at home.

In the early 19th century, artisans made goods that a family could not make for itself.

The most experienced artisans were called
masters
.

There were assisted by journeymen-skilled workers employed by the masters.

Apprentices
were young workers learning the craft.

Industry Changes Work

Elizabeth Blackwell became the first woman to graduate from medical college.

She then opened a hospital for women.

Continued

Social customs required women to restrict themselves to caring for the house.

This idea became known as the
cult of domesticity
.

Despite such limits, many women actively participated in the important reform movements of the nineteenth century.

Sarah and Angelina Grimké
worked
for the abolition of slavery.

Mary Vaughn attested to the evils
of alcohol.

Temperance movement-movement to ban the drinking
of alcohol.

Women’s Roles in the Mid 1800s

Despite the controversy surrounding slavery, many Southerners defended it.

They argued that slavery benefited blacks by introducing them to Christianity.

Southerners also invented the myth of the happy slave-a beloved member of the plantation family.

Northern legislators tried to introduce bills in Congress to abolish slavery.

Southern representatives responded by getting Congress to adopt a
gag rule
.

Under this rule, legislators could limit or ban debate on any issue-including slavery. The rule was repealed in 1845.

Continued

The nation’s slave population doubled between 1810 and 1830- from 1.2 million to about 2 million.

The institution of slavery had changed substantially since the 18th century. In those days, most slaves were male.

Many African American slaves supplied the labor needs in cities.

They worked in textile mills, mines, and labor yards. Some slaves were skilled workers, such as blacksmiths or carpenters.


Life Under Slavery

Another important abolitionist was
Fredrick Douglass
,
a former slave.

Born a slave in 1817, Douglass had been taught to read and
write by the wife of one of his owners.

1833 Douglass had a skilled job as a ship caulker in Baltimore.
He excelled at his job and earned high wages.

However, Douglass’s slave owner took his pay each week. As a result, Douglas escaped and went to New York.

In New York, Douglass became an eager reader of The Liberator, and an admirer of William Lloyd Garrison.

Soon, Douglass became a leader in the abolitionist cause.

He founded an antislavery newspaper called The North Star.

Continued

They also contributed to a literary movement that stressed freedom and self-reliance.

Emerson’s friend and fellow writer
Henry David Thoreau

(author of Walden) practiced self-reliance.

He left his regular life and built a cabin on the shore of
Walden Pond, near Concord Massachusetts.

Thoreau believed in
civil disobedience
- people should protest and not obey laws they considered unjust.

The Unitarian movement was another spiritual movement that grew during this time.

Unitarianism appealed to reason, not to emotion. It objected to revival meetings as too emotional. This movement attracted wealthy and educated people.

Continued

The
Second Great Awakening
was a religious movement that swept across the United States after 1800. It relied on emotional sermons in meetings called
revivals
. A revival might last several days. Its participants were known as revivalists.

Preachers, such as Charles G. Finney, gave exciting sermons to bring out emotional responses from their audiences.

They preached that each person had the
responsibility to find salvation. They also
stressed that people could change themselves
and society.

The Second Great Awakening

To increase their power, workers joined trade unions, or unions specific to each trade.

These unions eventually joined together to form the
National Trades’ Union
in 1834.

This union represented a variety of trades.

Factory owners opposed the union movement.

In 1842, the Massachusetts Supreme Court supported the right of workers to strike in Commonwealth v. Hunt.

Continued

Most strikebreakers were European immigrants. Immigration from Europe to the United Stated increased between 1830 and 1860.

Irish immigrants had come to escape the Great Potato Famine.

1840s a disease killed most of the potato crop in Ireland.

The Irish faced prejudice in the United Stated because they were poor and Roman Catholic.

Workers Seek Better Conditions

In the mills of Lowell, Mass., most factory workers were young, unmarried women.

Factory owners hired mostly young women
because they could pay them less than men.
These women were known as “mill girls.” They
lived in boarding houses owned by the factory.

1834 the mill owners cut wages for workers.

In response, 800 “mill girls” went on
strike
- a
work stoppage in order to force an employer to
respond to demands.

The company prevailed.

Farm Worker to Factory Worker

Section 4

The Changing Workplace

Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott

campaigned for women’s rights. Both had
been abolitionists.

1848 they organized a women’s right
convention in Seneca Falls, New York.
It became known as the
Seneca Falls Convention
.

They called for laws that guaranteed equal rights for women; including suffrage- the right to vote.

Sojourner Truth
, a former slave, became famous for speaking out for both abolition and women’s rights.

What was the Seneca Falls convention?

Many women also worked to improve education-mainly for girls.

Some women worked to improve women’s health.

Catherine Beecher, a respected educator, undertook a national survey of women. She found three sick women for every healthy one.

One reason was that they wore clothing so
restrictive that breathing sometimes was difficult.

Amelia Bloomer, a newspaper publisher, devised
looser-fitting clothes known as “bloomers.”

Continued

Section 3

Women and Reform

Virginia lawmakers introduced a bill that abolished slavery in the state.

After a heated debate, the bill was defeated by a close vote.

That loss ended the debate on slavery in the
antebellum
, or pre-Civil War South.

Across the South, state legislatures passed laws known as slave codes, restricting blacks’ rights even further.

Under these new laws, slaves could not preach,
testify in court, own property, or learn to read.

Slave Owners Defend Slavery

1831 a Virginia slave named
Nat Turner
led a violent slave rebellion.


He and his followers attacked
five plantations.


They killed several people.


Turner and his followers eventually were captured and executed.

Continued

Gradually, more and more whites began to support
abolition
- the movement to end slavery.

One of the more significant abolitionists was
William Lloyd Garrison
, a newspaper publisher.

In his newspaper, The Liberator, Garrison
called for immediate
emancipation
, or freeing
of the slaves.

David Walker
was a free black who moved from the South to the North. He urged African Americans to fight for their freedom.


Abolitionist Speak Out

Section 2

Slavery and Abolition

Some reformers wanted to create ideal living environments, or
utopian communities
.

In these experimental communities, people tried to create a “perfect” place by living in harmony and self-sufficiency out of the country.

In the 1830s, Americans began to demand tax-supported public schools.

By the 1850s, every state had a law that created
an elementary school system.

Dorothea Dix
worked for reform in the
treatment of mentally ill.

What did Americans attempt to reform?

One philosophical and literary movement was
based on the ideas of
Ralph Waldo Emerson
, a
New England writer & philosopher. Emerson led
a group participating
transcendentalism
.

According to transcendentalism, people could find
truth by looking at nature and within themselves
rather than in any organized system of beliefs.

Transcendentalists believed in the dignity of the individual.

They fought for social changes such as getting rid of slavery and improving conditions in prison.

What was transcendentalism?

Charles Finney and other preachers influenced more people in the United States to attend church.

The revivalist movement attracted numerous African Americans.

In Philadelphia, Richard Allen started the African Methodist Episcopal Church. It became a political, cultural, and social center for many African Americans.

Continued

Section 1

Religion Sparks Reform

Chapter 8

Reforming American Society
1820-1850
Full transcript