How Dorothea Dix's Reforms And Movements Were Created To Benefit Society
The Antebellum Period: a time of increasing public issues. Where reforms and movements were created to benefit society. The temperance movement was an act to criticize alcohol, the abolition reforms to get immediate emancipation, education reforms to benefit students, and finally prison reforms. Dorothea Dix was devoted to caring for others, a woman who was a leader and challenged the government’s and society’s way of treating the mentally ill. In 1841, Dix began her journey in helping fight for the mentally ill who were kept in prisons, homes, and almshouses. Traveling to New Hampshire, Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Europe Dix documented all the prisons she went to and the treatment of people who were not criminals. Once she gathered her data she went to the Massachusetts legislature in order to petition a grant for a state insane asylum. Her famous primary source was her written petition. Dorothea Dix’s petition to the legislature was significant being that she was a woman in the 1800s and that she impacted the way we treat mentally insane people today.
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While women were in charge of staying true to Protestant beliefs some couldn’t help but see the opportunities in factories and education. Like Dorothea Dix, she challenged the limits by trying to be recognized by an all male courtroom to present her ideas and findings on how she can help the mentally ill. The psychotic were viewed as placed in that illness because they did something that did not please God. In a time where religion and gender greatly influenced all decisions, it was crazy to have a woman writing on behalf of the people who had wronged