Chapter 15 13 Themes

Chapter 15

The Ferment of Reform and Culture

Big ideas matter. Here are the most important themes for this chapter.

The over-arching theme of chapter 15 is that Americans began to recognize problems and began attempts to clean them up. The major areas were religion, temperance (no alcohol), women's rights, and equality.

  1. The "Second Great Awakening" began in the 1830s. It's purpose was to wake people from lackluster religion and, like the First Great Awakening, was led by passionate and emotional preachers.
  2. The Mormons emerged from these beginnings and wandered westward to the Great Salt Lake.
  3. Free public schools began in large measure.
  4. There was push to ban alcohol called "temperance." This was led by the ladies; they felt the way to save the family was to ban alcohol.
  5. The first women's rights convention was held at Seneca Falls, NY. They asserted that all men, and women were created equal.
  6. Many "utopia experiments" began. The overall mission was to perfect society and create true equality. Most simply failed and none of them succeeded in the ways envisioned.

Back to the themes index.

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