By: Sona Samuel
Prison and Asylum Reform-In 1841, Dorothea Dix went to a prison and saw how prisoners were brutally treated. She saw that some prisoners were put in prison for no reason and for very little reason. The prison and asylum reform started because they wanted to change how prisoners were treated. She also wanted mentally ill patients to actually get treatments and help instead of punishing them. Dorothea had been gathering information for 2 years. She then went to the Massachusetts state legislature talking about what she saw in the prisons and how she can help it change. Lawmakers then made public asylums for mentally ill. By the time she died in 1887, state governments no longer but debtors in prison. Most states had created special justice systems for children in trouble. Many also had outlawed cruel punishments.
Temperance-In the early nineteenth century, many U.S. citizens were convinced that Americans wee living in immoral manner. They thought God wouldn't bless the United States. The temperance movement was formed to banned or limit the consumption of alcohol in the United States. Carry Nation worked very hard to help organize this movement. She would march into buildings and smash the bars. She has been put in jail many times. Since the temperance movement started many people had fought for it. By 1875, there were marches in more than 130 communities. In 1933, the Twenty-First Amendment was passed saying the production and sale of alcohol in the United States is illegal.
Education-It was very hard for parents to put children into school. Some children attended a one room school with 60 other children. Teachers had limited education and didn't receive very high pay. Some children stole, destroyed property, and set fires. Horace Mann was the one who started this reform. Mann went through these same circumstances and he wanted it to be better for other children. He believed that students who have a education will be better in life and escape poverty. This movement hoped that citizens were going to pay taxes so it can pay for public schools. Also, to get teachers higher pay and help them teach better. By 1850, in the North and South they were using Manns ideas. In 1837, Oberlin College in Ohio became the first college to admit women as well as men.
Abolition-Even though people saw that the United States had independence were we really free? By 1792, evey state from Virgina down had antislavery societies. In the North shipping communities didn't have an interest for slavery. Although, they wanted the cheap cotton that slave-labors gave. Northers still wanted slavery. Abolitionists wanted to end slavery but didn't know where to start. They wanted to get slaves to stick up for themselves. A man named Fredrick Douglas was an escaped slave. Douglas spoke at a abolitionist meetings and talked about the cruel treatments of the slaves everyone was in disgust. This got Douglas a name as a leader. Many women were inspired by religious reform movements to become involved in the fight against slavery. Former slaves started reaching out to people to get slavery to stop. Even though there weren't many abolitionist in the North, it did change the way the north looked at slavery.
Women's rights -Even though women were fighting to get slavery illegal, they still couldn't vote or speak their own mind. They soon started to reason that women and slaves were very much alike. This reform started to get equality between men and women. They want to be able to vote, speak at meeting and not be treated unfairly. Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton Are the ones that started this movement. These women met at a Anti-World Slavery Convention and were shocked when they heard that women couldn't speak. They both spoke out for women's rights. After a couple of years women were finally able to vote and in the Declaration of independence it says that women shall be treated equally as men.
I think that our family should be apart of the education movement. Even children in our family don't have the education opportunities that other families have. The education reform is still happening so if we come apart of it we can make a big change. Education would help our family to get better jobs, so we can have a better life. Think about the children in our family. They should have the education we never had, so we need to fight for them.