Stirrings of Reform Reading with Questions | Student Handouts
 
Welcome to Student Handouts--www.studenthandouts.com! 100% free teaching materials for students in kindergarten through high school--lesson plans, worksheets, PowerPoints, outlines, interactive games, puzzles, and so much more!

 
Stirrings of Reform
Free Printable American History Reading with Questions for Grades 9-12 - American History Readings
 
 

The democratic upheaval in politics exemplified by Jackson's election was merely one phase of the long American quest for greater rights and opportunities for all citizens. Another was the beginning of labor organization, primarily among skilled and semiskilled workers. In 1835 labor forces in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, succeeded in reducing the old "dark-to-dark" workday to a 10-hour day.  By 1860, the new work day had become law in several of the states and was a generally accepted standard.

The spread of suffrage had already led to a new concept of education.  Clear-sighted statesmen everywhere understood that universal suffrage required a tutored, literate electorate. Workingmen's organizations demanded free, tax-supported schools open to all children. Gradually, in one state after another, legislation was enacted to provide for such free instruction. The leadership of Horace Mann in Massachusetts was especially effective.  The public school system became common throughout the North. In other parts of the country, however, the battle for public education continued for years.

Stirrings of Reform - Reading with questions for high school United States History students is free to print (PDF file).Another influential social movement that emerged during this period was the opposition to the sale and use of alcohol, or the temperance movement. It stemmed from a variety of concerns and motives: religious beliefs, the effect of alcohol on the work force, the violence and suffering women and children experienced at the hands of heavy drinkers. In 1826 Boston ministers organized the Society for the Promotion of Temperance. Seven years later, in Philadelphia, the society convened a national convention, which formed the American Temperance Union. The union called for the prohibition of all alcoholic beverages, and pressed state legislatures to ban their production and sale. Thirteen states had done so by 1855, although the laws were subsequently challenged in court. They survived only in northern New England, but between 1830 and 1860 the temperance movement reduced Americans' per capita consumption of alcohol.

Other reformers addressed the problems of prisons and care for the insane. Efforts were made to turn prisons, which stressed punishment, into penitentiaries where the guilty would undergo rehabilitation. In Massachusetts, Dorothea Dix led a struggle to improve conditions for insane persons, who were kept confined in wretched almshouses and prisons.  After winning improvements in Massachusetts, she took her campaign to the South, where nine states established hospitals for the insane between 1845 and 1852.

 
Answer Key: (1) Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; (2) Horace Mann; (3) temperance; (4) 1833; (5) Dorothea Dix; (6) Answers will vary. Click here to print.

 
Text courtesy of the U.S. State Department, Bureau of International Information Programs, 2005
 
 
 
 
United States History Readings with Questions
 
 
Free K-12 Education Printables and More
Nullification Crisis Reading with Questions
Quarter-inch Square Dot Graph Paper
Strengths and Weaknesses: Americans Against the British Chart Worksheet
Latin America and the Monroe Doctrine Reading with Questions
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
 
 
Westward Expansion Books and Films Westward Expansion Miscellany
   
Westward Expansion Maps and Pictures Westward Expansion Outlines and Powerpoints
   
Westward Expansion Learning Games Westward Expansion Worksheets