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Reform movement

Reform movement is a kind of social movement that aims to make a change in certain aspects of the society rather than fundamental changes. It is opposed to radical social movement such as revolutionary movement or reactionary movement.

United States Reform Movements of the 1840s

  1. Art -- The Hudson River School of Art defined a distinctive American style of art, depicting romantic landscapes via the Transcendentalist perspective on nature
  2. Science -- John James Audubon founded the science of ornithology (the study of birds)
  3. Utopian Experiments
    1. New Harmony (founder: Robert Owen), practiced economic communism, although it proved economically unviable
    2. Oneida Commune (founder: John Noyes), practiced eugenics, complex marriage, and communal living. The commune was supported through the manufacture of silverware, and the corporation still exists today, producing spoons and forks for households of the world. The commune sold its assets when Noyes was jailed on numerous charges.
    3. Shakers -- (founder: Mother Ann Lee) Stressed living and worship through dance, supported themselves through manufacture of furniture, still popular today.
    4. Public education reform -- (founder: Horance Mann), goals were a more relevant curriculum and more accessible education. Noah Webster's dictionary standardized English spelling and language; William McGuffey's hugely successful children's books taught reading in incremental stages.
    5. Literature -- founding of the Transcendentalism, stresed high thinking and a spiritial connection to all things (see pantheism).
    6. Women's rights movement (1848) (founders: Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony), began at the Seneca Falls Convention; published a Declaration of Sentiments calling for the legal equality of women.
    7. Prohibition Movement -- Anti-alcohol movement supported by Frances Willard's Women's Christian Temperance Union, which stressed education; the Anti-Saloon League, which Carrie Nation promoted a confrontational approach towards bars and saloons; and the Know-Nothing Party, an anti-catholic, anti-immigration, anti-drinking political party.
    8. Abolition movement, 1820-60