Segments in this Video

American Growth Pains (02:37)


In the spring of 1831, Tocqueville and Beaumont visited New York to inspect the penitentiary system of America. Masur explains how immigration fueled American growth. The pace to push west accelerated in the 19th century.

Manifest Destiny (03:13)

Democrats were led by Jackson who envisioned territorial expansion. Manifest Destiny sparked a hunger for land. Thousands of Indians perished on the Trail of Tears

Birth of Individualism (03:25)

The Whigs promoted industrial development and believed in the use of federal authority. Clay and Webster led the opposition to Democratic Jackson. Masur lists reasons for national insecurity and the growth of local organizations.

American Temperance Society (03:24)

Penitentiaries were created and this system embodied the belief that the environment shaped behavior. Temperance was one of the key objectives of the moral reform enterprise.

Second Great Awakening (04:32)

Women emerged from the private, moral sphere into the public, political realm. They began to fight for changes in laws regarding property, marriage, education, and the right to vote.

Triumph of Principles (02:50)

Emerson rejected organized religion. He believed Americans needed to turn from external triumphs, financial rewards, and professional success as a measure of achievement and embrace nature and solitude. Garrison declared war on slavery and founded the American Anti-Slavery Society.

America Anti-Slavery Society (01:17)

By 1826, there were over 500 abolitionist organizations in the North. Garrsion experienced violence and threats for his leadership in the abolitionist movement.

A Visual Footnote (02:29)

Political cartoons circulated widely during this period. Masur explains the crisis Jackson's Administration faced in 1831 and its depiction in various political cartoons.

Credits: The Reform Impulse: Episode 7—A Biography of America (00:29)

Credits: The Reform Impulse: Episode 7—A Biography of America

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The Reform Impulse: Episode 7—A Biography of America

Part of the Series : A Biography of America
3-Year Streaming Price: $99.95



The Industrial Revolution has its dark side, and the tumultuous events of the period touch off intense and often thrilling reform movements. Professor Masur presents the ideas and characters behind the Great Awakening, the abolitionist movement, the women's movement, and a powerful wave of religious fervor.

Length: 26 minutes

Item#: BVL111499

Copyright date: ©2000

Closed Captioned

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