The period from 1820-1850 were the years of change for the American society. It was a period of time when the most important and diversified events that occurred in the American history; it was a period of time to break free from old habits and beliefs that had been left behind. The main goal of the reforms was to make the society a better place for everyone. And the reforms did bring magnificent changes to slavery, women’s rights, and people’s morality.
One of the most successful reform efforts was the campaign against alcohol. It was called the Temperance movement. Alcohol was considered a sin by the Evangelicals that it was responsible for many personal and social problems, including unemployment, absenteeism in the work place, and physical violence to women. Equally important, alcoholism destroyed families. Women were especially active in this movement. In the early 1840’s thousands of ordinary women formed Martha Washington societies to protect families by reforming alcoholics, raising children as teetotallers, and spreading the temperance message. The temperance movement’s success was reflected in a sharp decline in alcohol use.
Slavery was another moral issue- a flaw in the character of the American nation. It become so compelling that it consumed all other reforms and threatened the nation itself. People who rebelled against slavery where called abolitionists. At first only African Americans demanded an immediate end to slavery. In the 1830’s a small number of white reformers also crusaded for immediate emancipation. The most prominent abolitionist was William Lloyd Garrison, a talented journalist who broke with moderate abolitionists by publishing The Liberator -his major weapon against slavery. There were also many moving arguments and speeches that the abolitionists produced. The rebellions were some peaceful and some rather violent. Many abolitionists were killed by proslavery assailants in riots.
Women had realized the...
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