Ralph Waldo Emerson was considered the leader of the transcendentalists, an American Philosophical movement that believed all humans, like all nature, were Born good. If people became corrupt, it was because some institution of society had ruined them. This philosophy had a strong influence on American society in the 1830s and 40s, and many adherents turned their Attention to making America into a better place. The transcendentalists, Along with Protestants from the Second Great Awakening, initiated many Successful reform movements in the antebellum era.
The temperance Movement sought to limit or even ban the consumption of alcohol. Strongly supported by American Protestants, there were thousands of Individual temperance societies at the local level by the 1830s. Temperance group members could be affiliated with any political party - The movement was not structured around partisanship.Alcohol was Considered a social evil and was blamed for more of society's problems Than any other vice. Many supporters of the movement believed that if Alcohol were restricted, there would be less crime, vagrancy, child Abuse, poverty, and suicide. Since the movement was opposed by many of The new Catholic immigrants from Ireland and Germany, temperance also Became linked to some degree with nativism and anti-immigrant Sentiments.
Although it took nearly a century, the temperance Movement was finally successful with the ratification of the 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1919. Commonly called 'Prohibition,' the measure caused a set of unforeseen problems and was Repealed during the Great Depression.In Early America, few schools existed outside of Massachusetts; children Were taught at home by parents or tutors or were sent away to a boarding School.By the 1830s, a growing number of concerned Americans Began to advocate at all levels for free public education, at least for White boys. In 1837, Horace Mann took control of the new Massachusetts Board of Education and pursued free, equal, non-religious schooling for All social classes, provided by trained, well-paid, professional Teachers. His reforms set the standard for public education in the United States, and by 1870, all states had at least some free elementary Schools.
The best-known of the social reform movements of the antebellum era may be abolition - the effort to end slavery in the United States. There had been Abolitionists since colonial days, notably the Quakers, and a vocal Minority had tried to abolish slavery with the founding of the nation. But slavery itself had changed with the invention of the cotton gin and The fabulous wealth earned from 'King Cotton.' While Southerners became More committed to maintaining and even expanding the peculiar Institution, many Northerners began to see slavery as a moral evil.