Reforming Society

Second Great Awakening


This was a Christian renewal movement, it took the country by storm. From the 1800's to the 1830's, the majority of the country had a new interest in religion.

Charles Grandinson Finney

He was a leader of the Second Great Awakening, he told people that they were responsible for their own salvation and that sin was avoidable. His revivals (emotional prayer movements) lasted for days. He converted many people.

Lyman Beecher

Disagreed with Finney, he wanted to prevent him from holding revivals in his city.

Social reformers speak out.

Effects of new faith

In 1844, people's renewed religious faith led to them creating the first police force.

Temperance movement

A lot of social reformers tried to stop Americans from drinking alcohol because they believed that Americans drank too much, and that it led to social problems. This led to the temperance movement. They asked people to drink less.

Prison reform

Dorothea Dix was a reformer who wanted to move mentally ill prisoners into a better environment. They were held in disgusting conditions, and she wanted to fix that. The Massachusetts government responded by creating state hospitals.

Some prisons also held children, Josiah Quincy asked that young criminals received different punishments. Several states created strict reform schools for children offenders to live in.

Improvements in education

Education in the early 1800s

At this time, schoolhouses were small and not very good. Rich families had their children going to better schools, but poor children got poor education.

Common-school movement

Wanted all kids to be taught in similar places.

Horace Mann

He convinced Massachusetts to double the education budget and raise teacher's salaries.

Woman's education

Catharine Beecher started an all female school in Connecticut. This led to many schools for women being built.

Education for people with special needs

In 1831, Samuel Howe opened a school for the blind in Massachusetts. Thomas Gallaudet founded a free school for hearing impaired people

Comment Stream