Chapter 15 The Ferment of Reform and Culture

Chapter 15 The Ferment of Reform and Culture

Chapter 15 The Ferment of Reform and Culture 17901860 I. Reviving Religion Religion, 1790-1860: Church attendance still regular ritual for of 23 million Americans in 1850 Alexis de Tocqueville declared there was no country in the

world where the Christian religion retains a greater influence over the souls of men than in America. Yet religion of this era was not old-time religion of colonial days: Austere Calvinism declined in American churches I. Reviving Religion (cont.) Rationalist ideas of French Revolutionary era softened older orthodoxy:

Thomas Paine's The Age of Reason (1794) declared churches were set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit. Many Founding Fathers, including Jefferson and Franklin, embraced Paine's liberal Deism I. Reviving Religion (cont.) Deism: Relied on reason rather than revelation

On science rather than Bible Rejected concept of original sin Denied Christ's divinity Yet Deists believed: In Supreme Being who created knowable universe Who endowed human beings with capacity for moral behavior I. Reviving Religion (cont.) Deism reflected continuing religious debate over

free will and human salvation: Overtime, many Protestants downplayed Calvinist emphasis on predestination and human depravity Instead stressed essential goodness of human nature Proclaimed belief in free will and possibility of salvation through good works Pictured God not as stern Creator but as loving Father I. Reviving Religion (cont.) Such ideas flourished among Methodists,

Baptists, & Unitarians Affected Presbyterians & Congregationalists too Religious ferment propelled wave of revivals in early 1800s in Second Great Awakening I. Reviving Religion (cont.) Second Great Awakening one of most momentous episodes in history of American religion:

Converted countless souls Shattered and reorganized many churches Created numerous new sects Encouraged evangelicalism in many areas of American life: Prison reform, temperance cause, women's movement, and crusade to abolish slavery

I. Reviving Religion(cont.) Second Great Awakening spread on frontier by huge camp meetings: Up to 25,000 people would gather for several days to listen to an itinerant preacher Thousands of spiritually starved souls got religion Many of saved soon backslid into former sinful ways Revivals boosted church attendance

I. Reviving Religion (cont.) Stimulated a variety of humanitarian reforms Missionary work in Africa, Asia, Hawaii, and in West with Indians Methodist & Baptists reaped most abundant harvest of souls: Both stressed personal conversion, relatively democratic control of church affairs, and rousing emotionalism

Peter Cartwright (1785-1872) best known of Methodist circuit riders or traveling frontier preachers p310 I. Reviving Religion (cont.) Charles Grandison Finney was greatest of revival preachers: Had deeply moving conversion experience

Led massive revivals in Rochester and New York City in 1830 and 1831 Preached a version of old-time religion, but was also an innovator: Devised anxious bench where repentant sinners could sit in full view of congregation Encouraged women to pray aloud in public I. Reviving Religion (cont.) Denounced both alcohol and slavery

Served as president of Oberlin College in Ohio, which he helped make a hotbed of revivalist activity and abolitionism Key feature of Second Great Awakening was feminization of religion, both in church membership and theology: Middle-class women were first and most fervent enthusiasts of religious revivalism Made up majority of new church members

I. Reviving Religion (cont.) Most likely to stay with church even after revival Evangelicals preached a gospel of female spiritual worth Offered women an active role in bringing their husbands and families back to God Many women then turned to saving rest of society Formed a host of benevolent and charitable organizations Spearheaded most of era's ambitious reforms

II. Denominational Diversity Revivals furthered fragmentation of religious faiths: Western New York so blistered by sermonizers preaching hellfire and damnation, it came to be known as Burned-Over-District: Millerites, or Adventists, rose from Burned-OverDistrict soil in 1830s Named after William Miller Interpreted Bible to mean Christ would return on

October 22, 1844 II. Denominational Diversity (cont.) Failure of Jesus to descend on schedule dampened but did not destroy movement Like First Great Awakening, the Second tended to widen lines between classes and regions: Prosperous and conservative denominations in East less

affected Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Congregationalists, & Unitarians tended to come from wealthier, better-educated, urban areas Methodists, Baptist, & other sects tended to come from less prosperous, less learned communities in rural South and West II. Denominational Diversity (cont.) Religious diversity reflected growing social

cleavages regarding slavery: In 1844-45, southern Baptists & southern Methodists split from northern brethren In 1857 Presbyterians, North & South, parted company Secession of southern churches foreshadowed secession of southern states First churches split; then political parties split; then Union split III. A Desert Zion in Utah

Mormons: Joseph Smith received golden plates in 1830, which constituted Book of Mormon Also called Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Mormons went first to Ohio, then to Missouri and Illinois: Antagonized neighbors by voting as a unit By openly drilling militia for defensive purpose And by accusations of polygamy against Smith

III. A Desert Zion in Utah (cont.) In 1844 Smith and his brother were murdered by a mob in Carthage, Ill. Brigham Young took over leadership:

Proved to be an aggressive leader An eloquent preacher A gifted administrator Determined to escape further persecution, he led oppressed Mormons to Utah in 1846-47 III. A Desert Zion in Utah (cont.) Mormons soon made desert bloom by means of ingenious & cooperative irrigation:

Crop of 1848, threatened by crickets, was saved by flock of gulls (A monument to seagulls still stands in Salt Lake City) Semiarid Utah grew remarkably 5,000 settlers had arrived by end of 1848 (see Map 15.1) Map 15-1 p313 III. A Desert Zion in Utah

(cont.) In 1850s many dedicated Mormons made 1,300 mile trek across plains pulling two-wheeled carts Under Young's disciplined management, community became prosperous frontier theocracy and cooperative commonwealth Young married as many as 27 women and begot 56 children Population grew with thousands of immigrants from Europe, where Mormons had flourishing

missionary movement III. A Desert Zion in Utah (cont.) Crisis developed when U.S. Government unable to control Young, who had been made territorial governor in 1850: Federal troops marched in 1857 against Mormons Fortunately quarrel settled without serious bloodshed

Mormons had problems with anti-polygamy laws passed by Congress in 1862 and 1882: Marital customs delayed statehood for Utah until 1896 IV. Free Schools for a Free People Tax-supported primary schools were scarce in early years of Republic: Were primarily to educate children of poorthe so-called ragged schools

Advocates of free public education met stiff opposition Taxes for education came to be seen as an insurance that wealthy paid for stability & democracy IV. Free Schools for a Free People (cont.) Tax-supported public education lagged in South, but grew in North between 1825 &

1850: Gaining of manhood suffrage for whites helped A free vote cried aloud for free education Famed little red schoolhouse became shrine of American democracy. p314 IV. Free Schools for a Free People

(cont.) Early schools: Stayed open only a few months of year Schoolteachers, mainly men, were ill-trained, illtempered, ill-paid More stress on lickin than larnin Usually taught three Rsreadin', 'ritin', 'rithmetic To many rugged Americans, suspicious of book larnin', this was enough

IV. Free Schools for a Free People (cont.) Horace Mann (1796-1859): As secretary of Massachusetts Board of Education, he championed:

More and better schoolhouses Longer school terms Higher pay for teaches Expanded curriculum His influence radiated out to other states and improvements were made Yet education remained an expensive luxury for many communities

IV. Free Schools for a Free People (cont.) By 1860 nation counted only 100 public secondary schoolsand nearly a million white adult illiterates. Black slaves in South were legally forbidden to receive instruction in reading and writing. Free blacks in both North and South were usually excluded from schools.

IV. Free Schools for a Free People (cont.) Educational advances aided by improved textbooks, esp. by Noah Webster (1758-1843): His books partly designed to promote patriotism Devoted twenty years to famous dictionary Published in 1828, it helped standardize American language IV. Free Schools for a Free People

(cont.) William H. McGuffey: A teacher-preacher of rare power His grade-school readers, first published in 1830s, sold 122 million copies McGuffey's Readers hammered home lessons in morality, patriotism, and idealism V. Higher Goals for Higher Learning

Higher education: Second Great Awakening created many small, denominational, liberal arts colleges: Chiefly in South and West New colleges offered narrow, traditional curriculum of Latin, Greek, mathematics, and moral philosophy First state-supported university in North Carolina (1795)

V. Higher Goals for Higher Learning (cont.) University of Virginia (1819): Brainchild of Thomas Jefferson Dedicated university to freedom from religion or political shackles Modern languages and sciences received emphasis V. Higher Goals for Higher

Learning (cont.) Higher education for women: Frowned upon in early decades of 1800s Women's education was to be in the home Prejudices prevailed that too much learning injured brain, undermined health, and rendered a young lady unfit for marriage Some access for women began: Oberlin College admitted women in 1837 Mount Holyoke Seminary opened in 1837

p316 V. Higher Goals for Higher Learning (cont.) Adult learners: Used private subscription libraries or increasingly public libraries House-to-house peddlers fed public appetite for culture

Traveling lecturers carried learning to masses through lyceum lecture associations: Platform for speakers in science, literature, & moral philosophy Magazines flourished in pre-Civil War years, but most withered after short life VI. An Age of Reform Reformers:

Most were intelligent, inspired idealists, touched by evangelical religion: Dreamed of freeing world from earthly evils Women prominent in reform, especially for suffrage: Reform provided opportunity to escape home and enter public arena Imprisonment for debt continued to be a nightmare:

VI. An Age of Reform (cont.) Criminal codes in states were softened: Number of capital offenses reduced Brutal punishments slowly eliminated Idea that prisons should reform as well as punishhence reformatories, houses of correction, and penitentiaries (for penance)

Insane still treated with cruelty Many chained in jails or poor house Dorothy Dix (1802-1887): Possessed infinite compassion and will-power Travelled 60,000 miles in 8 years to document firsthand observation of insanity and asylums p317

VI. An Age of Reform (cont.) Her classic petition in 1843 to Mass. legislature described her visits Her persistent prodding resulted in improved conditions Agitation for peace: American Peace Society (1828) formed with ringing declaration of war on war

Made progress by midcentury, but suffered setback with Crimean War in Europe and Civil War in America VII. Demon Rum The Old Deluder Ever-present problem of alcohol attracted dedicated reformers: American Temperance Society formed in Boston (1826): Implored drinkers to sign temperance pledge

Organized children's clubsCold Water Army Used pictures, pamphlets, & lurid lectures to convey message p318 VII. Demon Rum The Old Deluder (cont.) Most popular tract was T.S. Arthur's Ten Nights in a Barroom and What I Saw There (1854)

Early foes of Demon Drink adopted two lines of attack: Stiffen individual's will to resist alcohol = temperance rather than teetotalism or total elimination Eliminate intoxicants by legislation: Neal S. Dow, Father of Prohibition, sponsored Maine Law of 1851 VII. Demon Rum The Old Deluder (cont.)

Maine Law of 1851: Banned manufacture & sale of intoxicating liquor Others states followed Maine's example By 1857, a dozen states passed prohibition laws Clearly impossible to legislate thirst for alcohol out of existence On eve of Civil War, prohibitionists had registered inspiriting gains Less drinking among women

VIII. Women in Revolt Women in America, 1800s: Regarded as perpetual minors: not able to vote or own property, could be beaten by husband Some now avoided marriage10 % of adult women remained spinsters by Civil War Gender differences strongly emphasized in 1800s Burgeoning market economy separated women and men into distinct economic roles Home was woman's special sphere, centerpiece of

cult of domesticity VIII. Women in Revolt (cont.) Clamorous female reformers:

Demanded rights for women Campaigned for temperance and abolition of slavery Like men, touched by evangelical spirit Women's right movement mothered by: Lucretia Mott, sprightly Quaker Elizabeth Cady Stanton insisted on leaving obey out of her marriage ceremony and advocated suffrage for women Quaker-raised Susan B. Anthony, a militant lecturer for woman's rights

p319 VIII. Women in Revolt (cont.) Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell was first female graduate of a medical college Talented Grimke sisters, Sarah and Angelina, championed antislavery Lucy Stone retained maiden name after marriagehence the latter-day Lucy Stoners Amelia Bloomer revolted against current street sweeping

female attire by donning a short skirt with Turkish trousers bloomers p320 VIII. Women in Revolt (cont.) Woman's Rights Convention at Seneca Falls, New York in 1848: Stanton read a Declaration of Sentiments:

In spirit of Declaration of Independence all men and women are created equal One resolution formally demanded ballot for women Seneca Falls meeting launched modern women's rights movement Crusade for women's rights eclipsed by campaign against slavery VIII. Women in Revolt (cont.)

While any white male over age of 21 could vote, no woman could. Yet women were being admitted to colleges. Some states, like Mississippi in 1839, permitted wives to own property after marriage. IX. Wilderness Utopias Utopias: 40 communities of co-operative, communistic,

or communitarian nature set up: Robert Owen founded communal society of 1,000 people in 1825 at New Harmony, Indiana Brook Farm, Mass. started in 1841 with about 20 intellectuals committed to transcendentalism: Destroyed by fire, adventure in plain living and high thinking collapsed in debt IX. Wilderness Utopias (cont.)

Oneida Community (1848) founded in New York: Practiced free love (complex marriage), birth control through male continence, and eugenic selection of parents to produce superior offspring Flourished for 30 years, largely because its artisans made superior steel traps and silver plate; see Makers of America: The Oneida Community Shakers: Longest-lived sect, founded in England, but brought to

America by Mother Ann Lee in 1774 Attained membership of 6,000 by 1840 Since their customs prohibited marriage and sexual relations, they were virtually extinct by 1940 X. The Dawn of Scientific Achievement Scientific talent: Professor Benjamin Silliman (1779-1864) most influential American scientist

Pioneer chemist and geologist taught at Yale College for 50 years Professor Louis Agassiz (1807-1873): Served for quarter century at Harvard College Path-breaking biologist, insisted on original research & deplored reigning over-emphasis on memory work p323

p323 p323 X. The Dawn of Scientific Achievement (cont.) Professor Asa Gray (1810-1888) of Harvard College: Published over 350 books, monographs, and papers His books set new standards for clarity and interest

Naturalist John J. Audubon (1785-1851): Painted wildfowl in natural habitat Magnificently illustrated Birds of America Audubon Society for protection of birds later named in his honor X. The Dawn of Scientific Achievement (cont.) Medicine in America:

Very primitive by modern standards People everywhere complained of ill health Self-prescribed patent medicines common Fad diets popular Use of medicine by doctors often harmful Victims of surgical operations tied down Some medical progress by 1840s with anesthetics p325

p325 XI. Artistic Achievements Flush with political independence, Americans strained to achieve cultural autonomy and create a national art worthy of aspirations. Architecture: Americans copied Old World styles rather than created indigenous ones Federal Style:

Borrowed from classical Greek and Roman examples Emphasized symmetry, balance, and restraint XI. Artistic Achievements (cont.) Public buildings incorporated neoclassical columns, domes, and pediments Charles Bulfinch's design of Mass. State House Benjamin Latrobe's additions to U.S. Capitol & President's House (now White House) showcased neoclassicism

Greek Revival: Between 1820 and 1850 By midcentury, medieval Gothic forms with emphasis on arches, sloped roofs, and large, stained-glass windows XI. Artistic Achievement (cont.) Palladian style Thomas Jefferson's Virginia home, Monticello Modeled Richmond's new capitol on ancient Roman

temple Jefferson's University of Virginia = finest example of neoclassicism Difficult to create a distinctive style of painting: America exported artists and imported art Suffered Puritan prejudiceart a sinful waste of time p327

XI. Artistic Achievements (cont.) American painters: Gilbert Stuart (1755-1828) produced several portraits of Washington Charles Willson Peale (1741-1827) painted some sixty portraits of Washington John Trumbull (1756-1843) recaptured Revolution's heroic scenes & spirit on scores of striking canvasses

XI. Artistic Achievements (cont.) After War of 1812, painters turned from human portraits & history paintings to pastoral mirrorings of local landscapes Hudson River school (1820s and 1830s): Thomas Cole and Asher Durand celebrated raw sublimity and grand divinity of nature Cole's The Oxbow (1836) portrayed ecological threat of

human encroachment on once pristine environments Masterpiece The Course of Empire (1833-1836) depicted cyclical rise & fall of human civilization analogy of industrialization and expansion p328 XI. Artistic Achievements (cont.) Music:

Slowly shed restraints of colonial days, when Puritans frowned upon nonreligious singing Rhythmic and nostalgic darky tunes popular: American minstrel shows unique Dixie Confederate's battle hymn (1859) Stephen Foster (1826-1864)most famous southern songs Camptown Races (1850) Old Folks at Home (1851) Oh! Susanna (1848)

XII. The Blossoming of a National Literature Busy conquering a continent, Americans poured creative efforts into practical outlets: Political essays: The Federalist (1787-1788) by Jay, Hamilton, and Madison Pamphlets: Thomas Paine's Common Sense (1776) Political orations: Masterpieces of Daniel Webster

Benjamin Franklin's Autobiography (1818) XII. The Blooming of a National Literature (cont.) Romanticism: Reaction against hyper-rational Enlightenment Originated in revolutionary Europe and England Emphasized imagination over reason, nature over civilization, intuition over calculation, and self over society

Celebrated human potential and prized heroic genius of individual artists XII. The Blossoming of a National Literature (cont.) American artists: Washington Irving (1783-1859), first to win international recognition as literary figure James Fenimore Cooper (1789-1851) gained world fame making New World themes

respectable William Cullen Bryant (1794-1878) wrote poetry and set model for journalism that was dignified, liberal, and conscientious XIII. Trumpeters of Transcendentalism Transcendentalism: Resulted from liberalizing of straight-laced Puritan theology

Rejected prevailing empiricist theory of John Locke that all knowledge comes through senses Truth, rather, transcends senses: it cannot be found by observation alone Every person possesses an inner light that can illuminate highest truth, and indirectly touch God XIII. Trumpeters of Transcendentalism (cont.) Beliefs of transcendentalism:

Individualist in matters of religion & society Committed to self-reliance, self-culture, & selfdiscipline Hostile to authority, formal institutions, & conventional wisdom Romantic exaltation of dignity of individualwhether black or whitemainspring of numerous humanitarian reforms XIII. Trumpeters of Transcendentalism (cont.)

Best known transcendentalist was Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882): Most thrilling effort was The American Scholar: Delivered at Harvard College in 1837 Intellectual declaration of independence Urged American writers to throw off European traditions and delve into cultural riches surrounding them Stressed self-reliance, self-improvement, selfconfidence, optimism, and freedom

XIII. Trumpeters of Transcendentalism (cont.) Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862): Condemning a government that supported slavery, he refused to pay his Mass. poll tax Walden: Or Life in the Woods (1854): His two year life on edge of Walden Pond Epitomized romantic quest for isolation from society's corruptions

His essay On the Duty of Civil Disobedience (1849): Influenced Mahatma Gandhi to resist British rule in India Influenced Martin Luther King, Jr.'s ideas about nonviolence XIII. Trumpeters of Transcendentalism (cont.) Margaret Fuller (1810-1850): Edited movement's journal, The Dial Her series of Conservations promoted scholarly

dialogue among local elite women Woman in the Nineteenth Century (1845) powerful critique of gender roles and iconic statement of budding feminist movement XIII. Trumpeters of Transcendentalism (cont.) Walt Whitman (1819-1892): Famous collection of poems Leaves of Grass (1855) highly emotional and unconventional

Dispensed with titles, stanzas, rhymes, and at times regular meter Located divinity in commonplace natural objects as well as human body Informally called Poet Laureate of Democracy for his praise of common people XIV. Glowing Literary Lights Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882): One of most popular poets produced in America

Some of his most admired poemsEvangeline (1847), The Song of Hiawatha (1855), The Courtship of Miles Standish (1858)based on American themes First American to be enshrined in Poet's Corner of Westminster Abbey John Greenleaf Whittier (1807-1892): Uncrowned poet laureate of antislavery crusade XIV. Glowing Literary Lights

(cont.) John Greenleaf Whittier (cont.): Vastly important in influencing social action Helped arouse a callous America to slavery issue James Russell Lowell (1819-1891): Ranks as one of America's best poets Also a distinguished essayist, literary critic, diplomat, and editor Remembered as a political satirist in his Biglow

Papers (1846-1848) XIV. Glowing Literary Lights (cont.) Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888): Little Women (1868). Emily Dickinson (1830-1886): Lived as a recluseextreme example of romantic artist's desire for social remove

In spare language & simple rhymes, she explored universal themes of nature, love, death, & immortality Hesitated to publish her poems, but after her death nearly 2000 were found and published p332 XIV. Glowing Literary Lights (cont.) William Gilmore Stuart (1806-1870):

Most noteworthy literary figure produced by South Wrote 82 books, winning title: the Cooper of the South Favorite themes, captured in titles like The Yamasee (1835) and The Cassique of Kiawah (1859) dealt with South during Revolutionary War National and international reputation suffered because of his overt proslavery and secessionist sentiments

XV. Literary Individualists and Dissenters Not all writers believed in human goodness and social progress: Edgar Allen Poe (1809-1849): Gifted poet -- mesmerizing rhythms in The Raven (1845) Excelled in short stories, especially Gothic horror type Fascinated by ghostly and ghastly, as in The Fall of the House of Usher

XV. Literary Individuals and Dissenters (cont.) Two writers reflected continuing Calvinist obsession with original sin and with neverending struggle between good and evil: Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864): Masterpiece The Scarlet Letter (1850) described Puritan practice of forcing adulteress to wear a scarlet A on her clothing In The Marble Faun, he explored omnipresence of evil

XV. Literary Individualists and Dissenters (cont.) Herman Melville (1819-1891): Masterpiece Moby Dick (1851) a complex allegory of good and evil Had to wait until twentieth century for readers and for proper recognition p334

XVI. Portrayers of the Past American Historians: George Bancroft (1800-1891): Deservedly received title Father of American Histor y Published super patriotic history of United States based on vast research William H. Prescott (1796-1859):

Published classic account of conquest of Mexico (1843) and of Peru (1847) XVI. Portrayers of the Past (cont.) Francis Parkman (1823-1893): Penned brilliant series of volumes beginning in 1851 Chronicled struggle between France and Britain in colonial times for mastery of North America

Most early historians of 1800s from New England because had libraries and literary tradition: Tended to be negative on South p336

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