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Reformers of the Mid 1800's

While America was undergoing an "era of good feeling" there were many problems lying under the surface. These social ills were attacked many social reformers. This reform movement was led by people who believed that America could do anything if she put her mind to it. One writer called America, "The Israel of our time."

Major reform movements existed in the following areas:

A. Women's Rights:

1. This movement led by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott held a women's rights conference at the Seneca Fall Convention. At the convention they wrote a Declaration of Women's Rights.

B. Temperance

1. The temperance movement was an attempt to eliminate the evils of alcohol. Mostly the same women involved in the women's rights movement . Led by the American Christian Temperance Union they sought to save the American family by trying to get alcohol declared illegal.

2. They were successful in getting some states to adopt state constitutional amendments banning alcohol.

3. This movement continued until the passage of the 18th amendment in 1920.

C. Education

1. Led by Horace Mann, the great educational reformer, a movement was led to create mandatory public education in America. It was eventually successful.

D. Treatment of the insane

1. Reformers led by Dorothea Dix led the way to more modern treatment of the mentally ill.


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