The Society even spread their own pamphlets and pictures

The Second Great Awakening and religion played a major
role in the development of numerous social reform movements including
temperance, women’s rights, and education. In addition, social reform movements
were also made in the fields of slavery as people discovered that slavery is
immoral in the eyes of gods and in the treatment of the mentally ill. Alcohol
became an addiction for many men during this time period, which led to men
leaving their families. Women’s rights became a focal point of the Great Awakening
as women spoke out for their equality in important events like the Seneca Falls
Convention and important historical figures like Elizabeth Cady Stanton gained
recognition. Furthermore, education grew as Horace Mann successfully campaigned
for better a school system. Slavery was becoming an issue as people in the
North became part of the abolitionist movement, and mental institutions were
made to help the mentally ill. Hence, these reform movements were all caused by
the driving forces of the Second Great Awakening and religion.

            Alcohol became widely
used by people, including women, clergymen, and members of congress, though
mostly men. The possibility of alcohol being involved in the lives of clergymen
shed light as to why people felt that alcohol should be banned as it was
probably not widely accepted by the Church. People drank alcohol to cope with
their life problems, however, for most, the effects began interfering with
their family relations and job performances. People under the influence of alcohol
would become abusive towards their wives and children, and abandoning their
responsibilities. Hence, in 1826 the American Temperance Society was formed to
urge others to join in on resisting the need to drink. The American Temperance
Society even spread their own pamphlets and pictures to serve as propaganda and
influence others to stop consuming alcohol. To combat the addiction of alcohol,
Maine introduced the Maine law of 1851; this law made it illegal to consume or
distribute alcohol. Other states in the North soon followed Maine’s example,
thus, alcohol was temporarily banished from certain states as it made men more
likely to abandon their responsibilities.

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            Another reform movement
influenced by the Second Great Awakening was the fight for women’s rights.

Women wanted equal rights, however, were viewed by society as inferior to men.

Women were thought to be physically and mentally weak, but with great sense of
morality, as a result, they were assigned the roles to teach their children how
to be good citizens. This explains how women became full of despair as their
lives had been labeled virtually meaningless as compared to the lives of men.

To make their voices heard, women began supporting the reform movements of
slavery and temperance. As the movement went on, prominent figures came under
the spotlight including Elizabeth Blackwell who was the first medical graduate
in the United States. All of the major feminists met at the Women’s Rights
Convention at Seneca Falls where they altered the constitution’s declaration
that “all men are created equal” to “all men and women are created equal.”

            Furthermore, Education
was very underdeveloped at the time. Schools were taught by men who were not
trained well and only taught children basic arithmetic and reading. Education
was thought of only being necessary enough to read the Bible, however, soon
people began to realize that children need to be taught more as they were the
future. Considering the poor conditions of schools, Horace Mann a college
graduate fellow protested for improvements including longer school years,
better pay for teachers, and a more broad curriculum. Similarly, women were not
allowed to attend many secondary schools, so in 1837 schools like Oberlin
college in Ohio allowed women to be enrolled as students and they allowed
African-Americans to enroll as students as well.

            Religion
influenced the reform movements of slavery and the development of mental
institutions. Most people in the North began supporting the abolition of
slavery because of the Bible’s message about slavery and discrimination. For
instance, the Bible favored equality for all, and through this the North grew
more towards abolishment. In the South people believed that slavery was a
“positive good”  and that the southerners
were doing the right thing because they were supposedly the superior race as
thought of by many southerners including John C. Calhoun. In addition,
initially people that were mentally ill were thought as belonging in prisons,
however, Dorothea Dix did extensive research and protests to establish mental
institutions. However, given that religion was very influential at the time,
the mental institutions were built on the basis of people believing that the
mentally ill are the way that they are because they lack God’s influence on
them. Given this information, mental institutions were geared towards helping
people receive god’s help, rather than helping them psychologically, which
express the difference how mental institutions differ from today as compare to
the Second Great Awakening.

            The
Second Great Awakening and religion had great influence on the reform movements
during the antebellum time period. First and Foremost, alcohol was banned due
to the dangerous repercussions it had on society. Second, women began to fight
for their civil rights as they met at the Seneca Falls Convention. Furthermore,
educational improvements were greatly made, women and African-Americans were
gradually eligible to attend certain secondary schools. Finally, religion
played a important role in the issue of slavery and it eventually increased
sectionalism between the North and the South. 
Hence, these reform movements occured due to the influences that the
Great Awakening and religion brought with them.

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