The temperance movement
The temperance movement was the best example of bringing the most social change to everyday Americans. In the 1830s alcohol abuse was something that was not a stranger to anyone. The average American, over fifteen years of age, in the 1830s consumed three times as much alcohol as we do today. Many women were dependent on men from their lack of recognition during this time. Women didn’t have any laws or rights for themselves, so they put trust into men's support. When women were not granted men's support, so they started an anti-alcohol movement. These anti-alcohol movements were trying to achieve change from men constantly being under the influence of alcohol. “The temperance movement, rooted in America's Protestant churches, first urged moderation, then encouraged drinkers to help each other to resist temptation, and ultimately demanded that local, state, and national governments prohibit alcohol outright”(“Prohibition”).
Once the movement started, a group of women started what was called the Women's Christian Temperance Union. This group was led by Susan B. Anthony, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and they fought for anti-alcohol laws. “Their organization, the Women's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) , became a force to be reckoned with, their cause enhanced by alliance with Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and other women battling for the vote”(“Prohibition”).
How the Other Half Lives was the best example of bringing the most social change to everyday Americans. Jacob Riis knew what it was like to suffer. Shortly after moving to the United States, he became a muckraker. He published writings and pictures of the unspoken problems in the United States. A very famous scripture he wrote was about how the people living in the slums and tenements lived. Pictures and writings went into making this problem have a solution. People after reading these articles were astounded and taken back from these gruesome conditions people lived in. This created many people trying to help and support these people living in the harsh conditions of slums. “But Riis wanted to literally show the world what he saw. So, to help his readers truly understand the dehumanizing dangers of the immigrant neighborhoods he knew all too well, Riis taught himself photography and began taking a camera with him on his nightly rounds”(Stamp).
The temperance movement was the best example of bringing the most social change to everyday Americans. The temperance movement was a chain reaction. People saw what was happening and protested for a change. Women needed support in this time when they had no rights, and their husbands were not giving them any help. The other half only got support from who cared enough to help. Wealthier people did not care whether people who lived in the slums were getting sick, or dying. The temperance movement affected a whole gender of people, who were being mistreated by the effects of alcohol. “By the late 19th century the WCTU, led by the indomitable Frances Willard, could claim some significant successes – it had lobbied for local laws restricting alcohol and created an anti-alcohol educational campaign that reached into nearly every schoolroom in the nation” (“Prohibition”). This shows that the temperance movement brought the most social change to everyday Americans.