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CH15 – The Ferment of Reform & Culture

Time Frame: 1790-1860

Objectives: At the end of this chapter, you should be able to:

  • Describe the widespread revival of religion in the early nineteenth century and its effects on American culture and social reform.
  • Describe the cause of the most important American reform movements of the period, identifying which were most successful and why.
  • Explain the origins of American feminism, describe its essential principles, and summarize its early successes and failures.
  • Describe the utopian and communitarian experiments of the period, and indicate how they reflected the essential spirit of early American culture despite their small size.
  • Identify the most notable early American achievements in science, medicine, the visual arts, and music, and explain why advanced science and culture had difficulty taking hold on American soil.
  • Analyze the American literary flowering of the early nineteenth century, especially the transcendentalist movement, and identify the most important writers who dissented from the optimistic spirit of the time.


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