Chapter 15: The Ferment of Reform and Culture 1790-1860

  • Revoultion to improve character of ordinary Americans: more upstanding, God-fearing, and literate
  • Most reforms spurred by religion: the 2nd Great Awakening

Reviving Religion:

  • Deism was a counter to puritanism: softened orthodoxy
  • =>Unitarian faith: God existed in one person - no trinity, good works, man good
  • Reaction to growing liberalism in religion => The Second Great Aweakening: spiritual fervor, conversions, reorganized churches, new sects.
  • Methodists and Baptists - most conversions. Methodist preacher Peter Cartwright - flailed and spoke.
  • Charles Grandison Finney - greatest revival preacher
  • Feminization of religion: majority of church was women, "bring their families back to God"

Denominational Diversity:

  • W. New York: sermons of hellfire and damnation, known as "Burned-over District." => Millerites/Adventists believed Christ would return Oct. 22, 1844
  • Wealthy: Episcopals, Presby, Congregationalists, Unitarians
  • Poor: Baptists and Methodists - supported slavery

A Desert Zion in Utah:

  • Mormons: Joseph Smith -> Ohio -> Missouri -> Illinois
  • 1844 Smith murdered
  • Brigham Young became leader -> led Mormons to Utah (1846-1847)
  • Population grew - community became prosperous frontier theocracy
  • Federal Army 1857 marched against Mromons -> Congress passed antipolygamy laws in 1862 and 1882 - delayed Utah from becoming a state until 1896.

Free Schools for a Free People:

  • Tax-supported public education triumphed 1825-1850
  • Free vote=>free education
  • 1-room schoolhouses, bad male teachers
  • Horace Mann - campaigned for more and better schoolhouses, longer terms, higher teacher pay, expanded curriculum.
  • Noah Webster - wrote textbooks and dictionary
  • William H. McGuffey - wrote "readers" for students

Higher Goals for Higher Learning:

  • Small religious colleges: taught boring junk like Latin, Greek, math, philosophy
  • State universities (NC, VA)
  • Oberlin College (Ohio) admitted women and black people!

An Age of Reform:

  • Religion prompted crusades and reform movements - many led by women
  • Imprisonment for debt sucked - as common people started voting, state legilators abolished debtors' prisons
  • Brutal punishments were being eliminated
  • Poor mental people were treated badly :(
  • Dorthea Dix - petition of 1843 to MA legislature called for imporved conditions for mentally ill
  • 1828 American Peace Society - William Ladd

Demon Rum - The "Old Deluder":

  • Heavy drinking common -> less work got done.
  • 1826 - American Temperence Society formed - Boston
  • T.S. Arthur's Ten Nights in a Barroom and What I Saw There
  • Moderates stressed "temperence," extremists believed alcohol should be forbidden by legislation - Neal Dow - "Father of Prohibition" - Maine law of 1851 prohibited manufacture and sale of liquor

Women in Revolt:

  • Women were a "submerged sex" - couldn't vote, couldn't down property, treated as minors
  • Women were keepers of soceity's conscience
  • Women fought for: women's rights, temperence, abolition
  • Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony advocated women's rights
  • Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell - first female to graduate medical school, Margaret Fuller - transcendentalist, Grimke sisters - antislavery
  • Seneca Falls Women's Rights Convention 1848 - "Declaration of Sentiments"

Wilderness Utopias:

  • 1825 Robert Owen founded New Harmony, Indiana - sank into contradiction and confusion
  • Brook Farm, MA 1841 - transcendentalism - prospered until 1846 - lost building in fire.
  • Oneida Community - NY 1848. Free love, birth control.
  • All these communistic enterprises failed.
  • Shakers - religious - no sex or marriage - went extinct by 1940 HA!

The Oneida Community:

  • Founded by John Humphrey Noyes
  • No private property, no exclusive relationships - material things (includeing sexual partners) should be shared.
  • Ended up as a silverware company.
  • I'm ashamed to say that I own Oneida silverware.

The Dawn of Scientific Achievment:

  • Nathaniel Bowditch - mathematician, Matthew F. Mavry - oceanographer
  • Prof. Benjamin Silliman - pioneer chemist and geologist
  • John J. Audobon - Birds of America
  • Medicin primative

Artistic Achievments:

  • Architecture Greek and Roman - 1850s revival of Gothic.
  • America exported artists to England and imported art.
  • Painting was "obscene," but there were some American painters
  • Daguerreotype - rough photography
  • Music - blacks and whites - upbeat

The Blossoming of a National Literature:

  • By 1820 literature as a profession was spurred - Knickerbocker Group - NY.
  • Washington Irving - writer - The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
  • James Fenimore Cooper - The Last of the Mohicans
  • Willian Cullen Bryant - MA - poems

Trumpeters of Transcendentalism:

  • "The Athens of America" - liberalizing Puritan theology.
  • Everyone has an inner light that connects us with God
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson: Unitarian, lecturer and writer
  • Henry David Thoreau: Emerson's friend, poet and nonconformist, individualist. Lived in the woods for 2 years and wrote a book about it.
  • Walt Whitman - poet - *gasp* - Leaves of Grass

Glowing Literary Lights:

  • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow - poet - popular in US and England
  • John Greenleaf Whittier - antislavery poem
  • James Russell Lowell - good poet
  • Louisa May Alcott - Little Women
  • Emily Dickinson
  • William Gillmore Sims

Literary Individualists and Dissenters:

  • Edgar Allen Poe
  • Nathaniel Hawthorne - The Scarlet Letter
  • Herman Melville - Moby Dick

Portrayers of the Past:

  • Historians
  • George Bancroft: founded American Naval Acadamy, "Father of American History" - wrote American history.
  • William H. Prescott
  • Francis Parkman
  • N. England abolitionists


Anonymous said...

Hiya! I just love your notes, but you're about a day off. We took chapter 15 today.
Thanks! :]

anisha said...

sorry about that, just running a little behind!