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Reform Movements Of The Second Great Awakening

542 words - 3 pages

The Second Great Awakening provided an emotional outlet, a right of passage, and social correspondence for American society. Society was seen as immoral. As a result, Congregationalists and Presbyterians began stressing free will in sinners' conversion to God. The religious revivals created middle-class reform movements which called for self-improvement for the benefit of the nation. Some of the social reform efforts made by the Second Great Awakening included moral reform groups that focused on prohibiting drinking and the rights of women.The production and consumption of alcohol in the United States rose greatly in the early 1800s. The temperance movement was formed as a result of the growing popularity of drinking. The American Temperance Society ...view middle of the document...

Because of this association's impact, consumption of liquor began to decrease in the late 1830s and early 1840s, and many states passed bans on alcohol.American women in the early 1800s were legally and socially inferior to men. Women could not vote and, if married, could not own property or retain their own earnings. The reform movements of the 1830s, especially abolition and temperance, gave women the opporunity to get involved in the public arena. Women soon began to argue for women's rights, in addition to temperance and abolition. Feminists such as Angelina and Sarah Grimké, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Lucretia Mott argued that men and women are created equal and should be treated that way. These people sided with abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison, also a feminist, merging the powers of the abolition and the women's rights movements. Other supporters of both causes include Frederick Douglass and Sojourner Truth.In 1848, Mott and Stanton organized a women's rights convention in Seneca Falls, New York. The Seneca Falls Convention issued a document known as the Declaration of Sentiments, which used the Declaration of Independence as a model. It stated that all men and women are created equal. The Declaration and other reformist strategies made little change. While some states passed the Married Women's Property Acts to allow married women to retain their property, women would have to wait until 1920 to gain the vote.The movements which spawned from the Second Great Awakening created large impacts on American society. The temperance movement lowered the consumption of alcohol. The women's civil rights movements continued for decades until women gained the same rights as men. The middle-class reform movements improved society and overall, benefited the nation.

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