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Health Reforms in ‘Antebellum America’

Temperance is the abstinence from alcohol and this was one of the major reforms which had a lot of influence during antebellum America as most people saw it as a negative way to behave in the community. It is considered to be one of the largest social reforms of that era of antebellum America which influenced the modern era temperance movements and therefore it was an important part of antebellum America. The groups were formed by the different leaders and reformers who believed that it is possible for people who are united to form a group and have an influence on society and generally on the entire United States. Therefore these leaders made sure that these groups were fully formed and were made into strong groups to make sure there was enough influence overall Americans to make sure that alcoholism was taken out from the American society (Warder, 2000).

Phrenology, on the other hand, was widely practiced and it claimed that a person’s behavior, character, and talents could be arrived at by determining the size and shape of their head. This, therefore, was an important part of the US health reforms and history as it made a very great effect on the people. Even though it is no longer influential it has borne a lot of reflections and practices in the medical field especially when it comes to mental health and the science of deriving a person’s behavior and their character from the mind impulses and what they have learned over time. Therefore it was an important part of antebellum America as it projected the new inventions and developments currently made in the mental health sector (Branson, 2017).

Other types of health reforms that existed during antebellum America were physical wellness, restoration of vigor, and trying to understand human behavior. All of these movements and activities were aimed at making sure that everything was formed as one in the community and that people who had different problems were not left out by being told there was no one to solve such kinds of problems or they were outcasts. Therefore all of these activities made sure that their efforts were for accommodating everyone in the society and making the lives of Americans better (Riddle, 2019).


Branson, S. (2017). Phrenology and the science of race in antebellum America. Early American Studies, 15(1), 164-193.

Riddle, J. D. (2019). Prospering Body and Soul: Health Reform, Religion, and Capitalism in Antebellum America. The University of Notre Dame.

Warder, G. (2000). Selling sobriety: how temperance reshaped culture in antebellum America.