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The Student Scene: What events happened during the Era of Reform?
Reforming is hard to do yet Dorothea Dix did it. She visited many prisons to see how the prisoners were treated. “It was awful,” she said. But the people she wanted to help the most were the mentally ill. She thought they needed to be in hospitals and cared for. She got Massachusetts to agree with her. She made a hospital for them. Surprised by her success, she went to other states. Reforming doesn’t need a crowd — it needs only one passionate person.
— Elena Springer
In the 1700s-1800s, slavery was very common. People would be kidnapped and then sold into slavery. Some asked why is there still slavery if this is the land of the free? Some people wanted the slave act to end. Well, it did in the northern states where slaves were no longer needed. Some people against the slave act called abolitionists tried to make the slaves revolt against their masters. Some slave owners tried treating their slaves with respect but still treat them like a slave on the inside. Some people tried to get this law changed and it succeeded.
— Michael Bohling
Slavery: If slavery wasn’t changed I wouldn’t be here today, it saved many lives and brought freedom to everyone who was once a slave. It had a strong impact on everyone around the world. Without our freedom and rights, the world would be very different from today — we have more rights and our freedom — it is very special to us. A woman stood up against all else, slaves fled to freedom, America, the free land.
— Dominique Hatton
In 1841, a Boston woman named Dorothea Dix agreed to teach a Sunday school class at a jail. She witnessed something that will change her life. What she saw were prisoners in chains and they were locked in cages and children with little thefts were in the same jail, sometimes in cells with very dangerous adult criminals. Dorothea wondered if the treatment of prisoners was this bad everywhere. To find out, she visited hundreds of jails and prisons all over Massachusetts. She also went to debtors’ prison, that’s where they’re in jail because they owe money. A lot of the thousands of Americans in debtors’ prisons owed less than $20!
— Ian Simpson
In the 1800s, schools unlike today were small, had barely taught teachers and were usually overcrowded. Then Horace Mann was elected as the supervisor in Michigan and he set up schools for teachers and started the idea of public schooling. He encouraged that the colleges and schools allow African Americans and girls to go to their schools. He was president of a new college and he urged his students to be ashamed to die until they achieved some victory. His college allowed women and African Americans.
— Keven Meyer
The organized movement for women’s rights was sparked by the friendship between Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. The two women met in 1840 at the world anti-slavery convention in London. As they arrived, they were appalled to see that women were not allowed to speak at this meeting. The men who ran the convention even made women sit in the balcony. The men’s decision backfired because in that balcony, Mott and Stanton met. They set out to prove that women should have the same rights as men. They proved women can be as strong as men and should have equal rights.
— Maia Binswanger
One of the eras of reform was slavery. Slavery was a really big deal because the blacks were promised to be able to vote and would have the same rights as white men. That meant they would be free, they would have the right to vote and the right to be in any public place with white men and they would fit in. That also meant no one was allowed to be racist to them. This was very important because black people are still people and they have the same morals as people so they deserved to be treated like humans, not slaves.
— Kyle Robarts
Less than 100 years ago, women had hardly any rights. Women were not allowed to vote. In the year 1921, women got the right to vote. Women were not allowed to talk at conventions and their political opinions meant virtually nothing. Women were not allowed to have any sort of education. Today, generally women exceed more in education than men. It was not socially acceptable to wear pants. It’s weird to think that women had to wear dresses all the time and their opinions didn’t matter.
— Rylee Collier