Browse Social Movements

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Name Description Founding year Related works
Second Great Awakening "The Second Great Awakening” was a religious movement within Anglo-American Protestantism that emphasized the power of human agency when released from the bondage of sin. The Second Great Awakening was named after... "The Second Great Awakening” was a religious movement within Anglo-American Protestantism that emphasized the power of human agency when released from the bondage of sin. The Second Great Awakening was named after the Great Awakening of the 1740s, which it resembled and amplified. Called evangelical because it emphasized the “good news” from the New Testament gospels, it created the largest subculture within American public life. Because the separation of church and state in the United States (1776-1840) forced churches to rely financially on voluntary contributions rather than taxes, churches competed with one another for members which made laypeople more powerful. Because religion embraced Romanticism’s emphasis on human emotions, subjective experience became as important as theological doctrines. Influenced by these trends, and because women constituted a majority of most congregations, the voices of women became much more important in American religious life and thereby in American public life in the 1830s. Show more Show less 1800 1
Settlement House Movement The first social settlement in the United States was founded in New York City in 1886; by 1910 there were 400 in cities throughout the United States. Settlements brought middle-class reformers to live in working-cl... The first social settlement in the United States was founded in New York City in 1886; by 1910 there were 400 in cities throughout the United States. Settlements brought middle-class reformers to live in working-class immigrant neighborhoods, where they undertook a variety of social reforms and became experts in the nation’s social, economic and political problems. Women dominated the movement, both as leaders and as settlement house residents. The effects of the movement were felt at the municipal, state and federal levels. Allied with trade unionists, intellectuals, medical professionals, immigrant leaders and reform politicians, settlement experts sought to Americanize recent immigrants and at the same time drafted legislation that promoted better living and working conditions for immigrant working people in American cities. Their effect continued in the New Deal of the 1930s. Show more Show less 1886 3
Social Purity Movement The social purity movement began in the 1870s in response to efforts to regulate prostitution in American cities; social purists organized to defeat efforts to regulate prostitution, believing that prostitution was... The social purity movement began in the 1870s in response to efforts to regulate prostitution in American cities; social purists organized to defeat efforts to regulate prostitution, believing that prostitution was a social evil that needed to be abolished. The key organization in this movement was the New York Committee for the Prevention of the State Regulation of Vice, led by Abby Hopper Gibbons, Emily Blackwell, Aaron Macy Powell and his wife, Anna Rice Powell, and Elizabeth Gay and founded in the 1870s. The movement’s main supporters consisted of white middle-class women as well as supporters from the suffrage movement and the Woman's Christian Temperance Union. Show more Show less 1870 6
Students for a Democratic Society Students for Democratic Society helped launch the student movement of the 1960s, leading the generation born after 1940 to identify themselves as culturally distinct from their elders. The Port Huron Statement, issu... Students for Democratic Society helped launch the student movement of the 1960s, leading the generation born after 1940 to identify themselves as culturally distinct from their elders. The Port Huron Statement, issued at the 1962 SDS convention, called for participatory democracy, and the right of people to shape the decisions that governed their lives. Early SDS projects focused on urban community organizing and civil rights. SDS grew dramatically as a leading voice of the student antiwar movement and was closely associated with the counterculture of the 1960’s. Growing factionalism led to the splintering of SDS in 1969 and the emergence of the Weather Underground. Show more Show less 1960 2