Religion Sparks Reform.
The preacher Charles Grandison Finney was the most famous character of the Burned-Over District. He led meetings designed to revive religious meetings throughout theBurned-Over District in the 1820s and 1830s. At his revivals, lots of people used to embrace his teachings.
• The Second Great Awakening.
Americans attended to revivals all over the country, butespecially in the North, and joined churches in record numbers. This movement was called the Second Great Awakening. A similar movement, called the First Great Awakening, had taken place in the Americancolonies in the 1700s. Many preachers of the Second Great Awakening were protestant and encouraged people to live well and to work hard. Then, followers were told that they had the responsibility to doGod’s work and that throughout dedication and hard work, they could create a sort of heaven on earth. Because of that, Americans became determined to reform and reshape American life. This period iscalled the Reform Era, and the Americans who participated in it, were called reformers.
• The temperance movement.
The goal of this movement was to reduce the use of alcoholic beverages. To end upwith the use of alcoholic beverages, reformers wrote books, plays and songs accusing the bad side of alcohol. Reformers were very determined, so they founded temperance societies and tried to persuadelots of Americans to sign in it. In 1851, reformers even persuaded legislators in the state of Main to outlaw alcohol, and about some 12 other states joined it the next years.
Reforming Education.In 1840s, American schools were either private or common schools. Most families could only afford common schools, where the quality of teaching was generally poor.
• The common-school movement.Most reform-minded Americans thought that educated people made better decisions and that widespread education was fundamental to a democratic society. That’s one reason they wanted more children to...
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