Dorthea Dix:

Who: social reformer - mental illness in the U.S.

What: came out of economic developments - The Market Revolution

When: early 19th c

Where: Massachusetts

Why is she significant? first person to bring awareness to mental illness / people were traditionally kept in "cages" / need for actually care and medical assistance


Dorthea Dix gives evidence to Essay Q #1

  1. Many Americans sought to reform and improve society during the first half of the nineteenth century. Discuss these effects, making sure to explain the economic and demographic contexts in which they occurred, attempts to change institutions, and the temperance movement, and the growing opposition to slavery. Did all of the communities opposed to slavery agree on methods and goals? Explain.
  • What is the topic <- THESIS!! 19th c reform
    • How are you going to structure your essay? idea of economic change - Market Revolution
      • What major event happened that would effect Americans economically and socially? CONTEXT!!
    • Agents of Economic Change:
      • Example: specialization of labor
      • Example: communication revolution
      • Example: transportation - railroads / Erie Canal
      • Example: War Department - contract w/ private enterprise and share information - "piece meal" development of interchangeable parts for weapons
    • Rise in new technology - both beneficial but terrifying -> Rules and tools used by historical actors:
      • Social Reforms:
        • Temperance: fear of machinery being destroyed by drunk workers / economic liability / volunteer - contract of sobriety - Mississippi law: gallon of alcohol (only rich could buy alcohol)
        • Dix: reformation mental institutions
        • Education: public schools created / grade/age / education of children in republican values
        • Religion: Sunday schools / 2nd Great Awakening - moral suasion
        • Slavery: rising opposition to slavery - schism created because of economic developments in the North / westward expansion - political power South
          • anti-slavery vs. abolition
    • Garrison - American political system was corrupt and therefore the abolition of slavery could not depend on the gov. - moral suasion (The Liberator)
    • F.D. - political system could be used to slowly abolish slavery - personal experience (The North Star)
      • early attempts to deal with slavery (parties)
    • The Liberty Party
    • Free Soilers
    • Republicans
    • Conclusion: Idea of "American exceptionalism" - or the Civil War