Reform Movements

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During the Second Great Awakening, a mass revival of American society took place. Reformers of every kind emerged to ameliorate women’s rights, education and religious righteousness. At the forefront of the movement were the temperance reformers who fought for a change in alcoholism, and abolitionist who strived for the downfall of slavery. Temperance reformers were mostly women and religious leaders. Lyman Beecher, a well known preacher and temperance leader during this time, talked about how intemperance was destroying our nation. He stated that intemperance was,”…continually transferring larger and larger bodies of men, from the class of contributors to the national income, to the class of worthless consumers...,” which meant that more men were taking away from the national then putting in. Some reformers even went as far as making illustrations showing how starting at a simple glass of this “demon rum” could lead to death or even suicide. Reformers such as Henry Clay Work wrote songs that at times placed a young daughter asking her father to come home to take care of their family. Women also played a very important role in the temperance movement by protesting to government to make alcohol illegal. The Abolition movement pushed for the country to realize the cruelties of slavery. Harriet Tubman, an escaped runaway slave, helped over 300 African Americans get freedom. Many people published books and reports on slavery. They showed Americans, as well as a world the harshness of slavery. Some abolitionist held posts on Underground Railroad to help free slaves and even helped them hide at times. The reformers pushed and pushed to make a change which eventually led to the Civil War. These two reform movements led to many political, religious, and family structural changes. They showed America the bad side of what then was considered good. America changed due to temperance and abolitionist who paved the way. One could only imagine what would happen if someone...
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