UNIT 1: SOCIAL, ECONOMIC, AND POLITICAL TURNING POINTS LESSON 1.1 SOCIAL CHANGE
Unit Overview In this unit we will investigate the differences between economic, political, and social change. In addition we will explore how economic, political, and social changes impact the human experience.
WARM UP Think of the phrase “social change.” What do you think social change means?
What is Social Change? Social change refers to an alteration, or change, in the social order of society. The base of social change is change in the thought process of humans. Let’s look at three examples of social movements that had a large impact on early Americans: Bacon’s Rebellion The Great Awakening Abolition
Bacon’s Rebellion What happened? Nathaniel Bacon led Virginia settlers on an armed revolt against the rule of William Berkley in 1676. Why? The settlers were dealing with social and political instability created by a weak centralized government. To make matters worse, there was little opportunity for political and social mobility. In other words, common people joined Bacon’s movement because they did not feel as though their government was looking out for them. A bad economy didn’t help matters, and Berkley’s refusal to take aggressive action against Indian raids proved to be the final straw. Effects? The common and poor people would demand more from their government, to include fairness and protection. Also, historians believe the rebellion hastened the hardening of racial lines associated with slavery due to the ruling class’s inability to control the poor population.
The Great Awakening What happened? A movement rooted in spiritual growth began to strengthen in the 1730’s , encouraging people to re-admit their lives to Christ. The Great Awakening became the first national event that all colonies would experience. Why? A growing concern among Protestants leaders that people were far too concerned with worldly matters and wealth. Effects: Overall message of movement was one of greater equality among believers and religious freedom. Played a key role in the development of democratic thought, the belief of a free and unbiased press, and the idea that information should be shared and uncontrolled by the government. Considered a major cause of the American Revolution.
The Abolition Movement What happened? Starting in the 1830’s, abolitionist ideas became increasingly prominent in northern churches and politics. The goal of this movement was the immediate emancipation of all slaves and the end of racial discrimination and segregation. Why? Fueled by the religious ferver of the 2nd Great Awakening, slavery came to be seen by many northerners as an evil that must be destroyed. Effects? The issue of slavery became the leading political difference between the North and the South, leading to the Civil War. Eventually, the abolitionist movement would inspire the Emancipation Proclamation, making the Civil War a war of liberation in 1863. After the North’s victory, the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments of the Constitution were created to end slavery and prejudice in the United States.
Brainstorm What are examples of social movements in recent history that have had a significant impact on American society?
Possible responses Civil Rights Feminist Movement Anti-War Movement Counter-Culture Conservation Movement Occupy Movement Tea Party Movement Gay Rights
Social Change Activity Investigate the causes and effects of each of the social turning points in history below: (page numbers in texts) The Reformation (page 24) The Enlightenment (page 45) The Second Great Awakening (Page 232) Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin (page 290) Are there any common themes in regard to the causes and effects of each social movement?
Reflection In your Journal, respond to the following questions: What did you learn today about social change? How is Bacon’s Rebellion, The Great Awakening, and the Abolition Movement examples of social change? What commonalities exist in regard to causes and effects of social turning points?