Why did moral reform movements gather strength in the 1830s-1850s and what underlying force or forces gave them strength

1073 Words 5 Pages
In the mid to late 1800s, a great moral reform movement swept the nation of America. Men, Women, Slaves, people who had never been admitted to influence the religious sector of the Nation were now standing up, and making their voices heard. A patriots History says, “There were transformations of attitudes about social relationships, health, prisons, education, and the status of women and African American slaves…. [This] grew into a substantial Jacksonian reform movement.” This moral reform movement was driven by three main beliefs, or Isms. These were Communal-ism, Feminism, and Abolitionism, all leading us up directly to the Civil War Without the dissent caused by these new movements, it is quite possible that the Civil War would have …show more content…
This rejection of traditionally held values in regard to women, led to the very next Ism, Feminism. Feminism was a Utopians dream because it advocated greatly expanded roles for women. By the time of the precedent-setting New York State court case Mercein v. People in 1842, women had gained many other rights. In Mercein vs. People a woman was awarded custody of children for the first time in history. Up till this point women had gained property rights within marriage in several Ohio and Mississippi Valley states, and the trend was spreading, fast, and divorce became slightly more prevalent, with the legal grounds increased. With the growth of the Industrial Revolution, women were given work opportunities, and with a rising demand for teachers more and more women were becoming educated in institutions. Nursing jobs also became popular. In1849, Elizabeth Blackwell received her M.D. degree from the Medical Institution of Geneva, N.Y., becoming the first woman in the U.S. with a medical degree. “All these causes lead women, inevitably, towards feminism, a socio-religious and socio-political philosophy born at the end of the Age of Jackson.” Feminism was affecting moral reform, and was right there at the heart. These women activists pushed and shoved till they got their way. The final force was the Declaration of Sentiments at Seneca Falls, New York on 1848. Sarah
Open Document