The Ferment of Reform & Culture 1790-1860 The American Pageant Chapter 16 Reviving Religion Rationalism, Deism, Unitarian faith led to growing liberalism in religion. Response: 2nd Great Awakening, larger than 1st, spread through camp meetings. Reviving Religion (2) Result: boosted church membership, led to humanitarian reforms. Methodists & Baptists benefited the most – stressed emotional-ism & personal conversion rather than predestination. Reviving Religion (3) Peter Cartwright was best known Methodist “circuit rider.” Charles Finney was greatest revival preacher, called for perfect Christian kingdom on earth, led to reform efforts (alcohol, slavery). Denominational Diversity Western NY became known as “Burned-Over District,” gave birth to Adventists, predicted Christ’s return. Like 1st, 2nd Awakening widened gaps between classes and religions. Denominational Diversity (2) Rich, conservative, eastern den. were not affected (Episc., Presb., Cong., Unit.) Methodist/Baptist drew from poorer classes in South, West. Split of churches over slavery foreshadowed political split. A Desert Zion in Utah 1830: Burned-Over District produced Joseph Smith, Book of Mormon. Cooperation, polygamy, militia created conflict with neighbors in Ohio & MO. A Desert Zion in Utah (2) 1846-47: After Smith’s murder, Brigham Young leads LDS to Utah. Utah grew quickly from LDS, European immigration Conflict with fed. gov’t over territorial control, polygamy. Free Schools/Free People Early public schools were only for poor, but came to be viewed by rich as necessary for stable democracy. 1825-1850: Public schooling grew due to white manhood suffrage. Free Schools/Free People (2) Quality of early schools sporadic, needed reform. Horace Mann (MA Board of Ed.) argued for longer terms, better pay, broader curriculum. Free Schools/Free People (3) Despite Mann, only 100 public secondary schools by 1860, education a luxury for many. Webster provided improved textbooks, dictionary (standardized language) McGuffey’s readers taught morality, patriotism. Higher Learning 2nd Great Awakening led to small denominational schools which, like “ivy league” taught traditional subjects. 1st state schools began in South (N. Carolina in 1795). Higher Learning (2) UVA founded in 1819, brainchild of Jefferson. Dedicated to freedom from denominational control, modern languages, sciences. Women’s higher ed frowned upon, but some schools developed in 1820-30s. Higher Learning (3) 1837: Oberlin allowed women, previously blacks. Adult education grew through lyceum lecture associations (3000 by 1835). Magazines flourished, e.g. North American Review. An Age of Reform Various reform campaigns developed, most as a result of 2nd Great Awakening. Puritan vision of perfected society fueled crusades against war, alcohol, discrimination, slavery. An Age of Reform (2) State leg. gradually abolished debtor’s prisons. Capital offenses and brutal punishments reduced, idea that prisons should reform rather than just punish grew. An Age of Reform (3) Dorothea Dix led reforms to improve treatment of mentally ill (1843 petition to Mass. leg.). William Ladd led peace movement, American Peace Society formed in 1828. Demon Rum Alcohol a problem, even among women, clergy; problem at weddings, funerals, work. 1826: American Temperance Society formed in Boston, thousands followed. Demon Rum (2) Anti-alcohol novel Ten Nights in a Barroom… was bestseller in 1850s. Moderate reformers stressed temperance (moderation) rather than abstinence, but others favored prohibition. Demon Rum (3) Neal S. Dow, “Father of Prohibition,” sponsored Maine Law of 1851—no manufacture or sale. Other states followed, but many laws were struck down or ignored. However, drinking was reduced overall. Women in Revolt Women had few rights, but treated better than in Europe, partly due to their scarcity on frontier. Distinctive gender roles, especially economically Homemakers glorified, e.g. “cult of domesticity” Women in Revolt (2) Midcentury: more women involved in reform (women’s rights, temperance, slavery). E. Cady Stanton advocated women’s suffrage. Susan B. Anthony was militant lecturer, progressive women called “Suzy Bs.” Women in Revolt (3) 1848: Feminist reform led to Seneca Falls Convention. Declared that all men and women are created equal, demanded suffrage. Significance: launched modern women’s rights movement. Wilderness Utopias Utopian spirit led to creation of over 40 cooperative communities. New Harmony, Robert Owen, 1825: failed due to lack of unity. Brook Farm, 1841: 20 transcen-dentalists, collapsed in debt after fire. Inspired Hawthorne. Wilderness Utopias (2) Oneida, 1848, John H. Noyes: “complex marriage,” eugenics. Survived for 30 years due to silver, traps. Shakers, 1770, Mother Ann Lee: Peaked in 1840, prohibited marriage/sex, gone by 1940. Scientific Achievement Early Americans interested only in practical/gadget science, e.g. plowing, ocean navigation. But a few real scientists were influential, e.g. Silliman (Yale) & Agassiz (Harvard). Scientific Achievement (2) John J. Audobon published Birds of America. Bird protection society named after him. Medicine: bleeding as treat-ment & plagues still common. 1850: Life exp. only 40 years. Scientific Achievement (3) Use of medicine often harmful, surgeries painful (whiskey). Early 1840s: MDs & DDSs began using laughing gas/ether as anesthetics. Artistic Achievements Architecture generally followed Greek/Roman models. Jefferson (Monticello, UVA) was best architect of his time. Art suffered b/c lack of wealthy class & leisure time, Puritan view of art. Artistic Achievements (2) Notable American painters: Gilbert Stuart (in England), Charles Wilson Peale (G. Washington), John Trumball (Rev. War). After 1812, nationalism led to portraits of landscapes, e.g. Hudson River School. National Literature Early lit. was practical, e.g. political essays (Federalist). Nationalism and economic dev. of older eastern areas produced support for US lit. Knickerbocker Group in NY produced 1st US lit. comparable to Europe. National Literature (2) Knickerbockers: Washington Irving: impressed Europe, The Sketch Book James Fenimore Cooper: 1st novelist, Leatherstocking Tales William Cullen Bryant: poetry (Thanatopsis), NY Post Transcendentalism 1830: Rejected Locke’s theory that knowledge comes only through senses—we all have inner light to give knowledge and put us in touch with God. Led to social & religious individualism; self-reliance, self-discipline. Transcendentalism (2) Ralph Waldo Emerson most famous: former minister, writer, speaker (lyceum). Speech “The American Scholar” urged Americans to have intellectual independence from Europe. Transcendentalism (3) Henry David Thoreau: like Emerson opposed to slavery, developed ideas of civil disobedience. Gifted writer: Walden described experience of simple life. Transcendentalism (4) Walt Whitman: Leaves of Grass (1855) - collection of poetry. “Poet Laureate of Democracy” – he described love for masses, expansion of America. Glowing Literary Lights Longfellow: popular poet both in US & Europe, popular works based on American themes. Whittier: poet laureate of antislavery effort. Lowell: great poet, essayist, political satirist – condemned slavery expansion of Polk. Glowing Literary Lights (2) Holmes: saw Boston as central, poet, essayist, novelist, lecturer. Alcott: wrote Little Women to support family. Dickinson: recluse, would not publish poems during lifetime. Simms: “Cooper of the South,” 82 books, southern themes. Literary Individualists Some writers were not reform oriented, but were dissenters, e.g.: Poe: Life of suffering, alcohol, wrote horror short stories, poems (“The Raven”). Literary Individualists (2) Hawthorne: Scarlet Letter, Puritan influence/themes. Melville: Adventurer, Moby Dick was not initially popular, most liked more upbeat novels, died in poverty. Portrayers of the Past Early American historians (Bancroft, Prescott, Parkmann) were New Englanders, due to Boston’s libraries, literary tradition. Result: many works reflected anti-southern bias.