Reform, Religion and Culture

Reform, Religion and
Economic Standings
At this time America is an overwhelmingly
agricultural nation
Very limited transportation- 20 days to send
a letter from Maine to Georgia
Primitive farming and manufacturing
Domestic system- most items created by individuals
working at home
1807-Robert Fulton tests the first steamboat- the
Clermont- both water and land transport
1830s-40s- Samuel Morse and other inventors develop
the telegraph- transmits electrical impulses over wireMorse code
Despite initial resistance- America became the world
leader in industrialization in the 1820s and 30s.
Industrialization- development of industry
on an extensive scale
Companies began adopting labor saving
machinery- more product at a lower price
American system of manufacturing- Eli
Whitney- inventor of the cotton ginmanufacturing interchangeable parts
Cash crops- not raised for sustenance, but to
sell the excess for profit- cotton, tobacco,
rice, sugar, flax, etc.
New technology- iron plow, scythe, etc.
Decrease in labor- people moving to the
cities for manufacturing work
Early Labor Reform
Factory System-centralized system of
manufacturing- employees supervised by
employers, each worker with limited skill
Opportunity for unmarried women- freedom
not offered to them in other realms of life
Corruption and mistreatment of workersSamuel Slater example
Early Labor Reform
Unfair pay for many hours- 14.5 hours a day,
6 days per week -$2.50-3.50
First labor unions- protect worker rights
Labor and business
They are dependent on each other but their interests
are opposed to each other
Main goal at this time- 10 hour work day
Did achieve some shortening- 11.5
Moral Reform
Growth of the cities led to more crime and moral decay
Temperance- movement against liquor- blaming it for
violence and abuse- anti-liquor societies
Crime, capital punishment, imprisonment for debt- all
Mental illness- Dorothea Dix- work with mentally ill
inmates- attempt to improve conditions and work
towards cure
Education Reform
Increased call for general public education
Horace Mann- lead the fight for government
to support public education- teacher
training, curriculum, corporal punishment
Women’s rights
No access to college or professional occupations
A wife had no legal identity apart from her husbandcould not sue or be sued, could not make a contract or
own property, couldn’t gain custody of children in a
Early 19th century- first women’s colleges, many women
chose not to marry, new opportunities in factories and
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