Social Reform Movements Project
Ross Gall Mr. Cates' class f 2013-2014
The Prison And Asylum Reformation
Prisoners and the mentally ill are being placed in crowded jail cells, bound with chains, placed in torture cages and cold cellars, and as well as being branded with hot irons. As Dorothea Dix is visiting jails and asylums all across the country, she is observing the horrors that these poor, unfortunate souls go through every day. She believes that the mentally ill must receive care, not punishment. At this rate, she may be forced to take legal action and make punishing prisoners illegal. I hear people say that she will get congress to develop affordable asylums where the mentally ill can be treated in a safe manner.
The Temperance Movement
Benjamin Rush started the temperance movement with an influential work he wrote, A Moral Thermometer. In it, he stated that alcoholics would have a strong impact on history. Rush hoped to start a temperance movement in the 20th century. Now, the Woman's Christian Temperance Union leads the fight against alcoholism. To them, the consumption is a sin. One of their goals is to keep liquor away from people. Hopefully they will be able to take legal action and make alcohol illegal.
The Education Movement
Horace Mann, a man of rural beginnings, is and education reform. To him, stability and social harmony are based upon a good education. The ideas he has involved both men and women of all races learning in harmony together. He is wanting public schools to be developed in rural communities. Hopefully soon there will be a university that excepts all people for who they are, and not for what they are.
Abolition has been an ongoing struggle for quite some time. William Lloyd Garrison started a newspaper known as the liberator yet his office was burned down by anti-abolitionists. He survived. More recently a slave by the name Frederick Douglass has arrived to speak to the townsfolk. He is rather tall and has a voice like thunder. He speaks with such a passion for evolution and makes the crowd cry when it hears the horrors of slavery, and laugh when he tells them of how ministers tell slaves to love slavery. Garrison and Douglas just met Sojourner Truth minutes ago. They are convincing her to speak out against slavery. After seeing their points of view she now believes that slavery shall only end peacefully. Although slavery hasn't been abolished yet, it will pave the way for other reforms.
The bond between Elizabeth Caddy Stanton and Lucretia Mott has sparked an interesting reformation movement known as women's suffrage. Both women were infuriated that they could not speak at the antislavery convention in London. They believed that women are somewhat like slaves; that they have limited freedoms. They will show their beliefs to the world at the Scenica Falls convention. Hopefully they will win their movement and convince lawmakers to give women more rights. Yes! Then won! New York, Indiana, and Massachusetts are giving women some rights.
All of these movements are very interesting movements to support, but I have chosen the education movement because education is the foundation upon which the world receives its wisdom and knowledge for the other challenges of life. What would the world be without education to drive its people? If all of the sacrifices and great battles upon which the world gained knowledge had not taken place, then the historic records of them would have been recorded for nothing! Criminals must be educated for their redemption from their dark pasts. They must know what respect and peace are before entering the world, otherwise, they are just as ignorant as they were before they were imprisoned. Education is quite necessary for everything that needs doing and for every thing that must be learned.