AP U.S. History, Period 6
2 February 2012
Reform movements in the United States from 1825-1850 greatly benefited to expand democratic ideals that shape our nation today, but they also limited the expansion with some reforms. Reform movements took place in the North to fight off the forced labor and cruelty of slavery, and throughout the states, religious revivals and women rights movements arose. These reform movements expanded the democratic ideals by advocating an equal treatment for women and slaves while the religious revivals shaped moralities of men. The Temperance Movement limited the expansion of democratic ideals by attempting to reduce and prohibit the use of alcohol in the country. Many other reforms took place as the society began to rise, adding reforms to criminal punishments and immigration. This time of social and religious reforms slowly became democratic ideas that set the base for our government standards that we follow today. The two main reform movements that took place during this time period were the beginning of the Women Rights’ movement and the Abolitionist Movement. Document C shows a relation between the two movements as the engraving depicts a women slave who is tied up in shackles, kneeling for hope, pleading that she is indeed a woman too. This engraving was made to show that slaves are human beings and should be treated as one. The document encourages undecided citizens in the North to appeal to the abolitionists and bring an end to the cruel slavery in the South. Women slaves looked upon freed women as sisters and the slaves were stripped of their natural rights from society and this was the reason for abolitionists to fight. This sets the pro democratic ideal that everyone is equal, no matter the race or color of your skin. Even freed white women were in seek of their rights, as shown in Document I when Elizabeth Stanton delivered her speech at the Seneca Falls Convention. Women felt...