Sunday, February 12, 2017

Education and Reforms

In the early 1800s it was very rare for a child to attend school and be educated. The reason? Towns could not collect enough taxes to build local schools. But this all changed when an American reformer named Horace Mann came into play. Mann believed that an education reform could help change the society. Mann also believed that public education should be available to all children, no matter how wealthy their families were. Mann started working to achieve his goal in 1837, when he became Secretary of Education in Massachusetts. Thanks to Mann's efforts, public education became more popular around the country, and more students began to attend school.
In the time between the late 1700s and early 1800s people who were mentally ill and poor often lived in jail and poor houses. Dorothea Dix visited places like this in the 1830s, to see how the mentally ill were treated. She was quite upset to find that patients were often treated like prison criminals, and lived in awful conditions (the patients were left in cages or worse). After her experience, Dix began to advocate for the reform of mental institutions. She wanted the patients to be treated in more humane ways. Dix also believed that to help the mentally ill, they needed to actual mental hospitals so the patients could get the medical care and attention they needed. She worked to get the government to approve and fund mental asylums.
Eventually there came a time where the prisons got reformed as well. In early times of America, people who committed crimes were either branded, flogged, or executed. There wasn't really a proper prison system. In the late 1700s and early 1800s people started to believe that the punishment criminals received should reflect the crime they committed. Thus the first "modern prisons" began to emerge. The two different systems were known as the Pennsylvania System and the Auburn System.
The Pennsylvania System was much more expensive, and more extreme in its treatment toward prisoners. Prisoners were kept in isolation, and were not allowed to have any visitors. They were also allowed no outside news. This system was not as popular as the Auburn System.
Under the Auburn System, prisoners were not allowed to speak to each other during meal or work times. The prisoners were held in individual cells at night. Because of the Auburn Systems popularity, it became a model for prisons all across the country until the 1800s.

No comments:

Post a Comment