Between the 1820’s and the 1850’s, America went through drastic changes in its society. There were many reform movements going on at the same time while some people demanded for change and equality, the others believed change would come to ruin America. All of this turmoil between the people boiled up into the Civil War. There were many factors that split the North and the South from each other and influenced them to go to war. Slavery was probably the biggest influence, but it spread out through many other factors. From slavery, comes abolitionists. From slavery, comes sectionalism. From slavery, comes war. This era of time was the era focused on morality and individuality, and society protested the government until there were laws that satisfied these ideas. The three main reforms that expanded democratic ideals were the Second Great Awakening, Sectionalism, and Abolition.
The Second Great Awakening marked a shift in thinking to morality and sought to better society by bettering the individual. The Awakening was a call to bring “Harlots, drunkards, and infidels” back to piety, and to instill a regenerated belief in God. (Doc B) Churches everywhere took action to better the individual. On Sundays, it became illegal to sell alcohol because everyone was getting drunk on the Sabbath day. They had a strict opinion about drinking, and even had a nine step process to describe what happens. In this nine step process it begins with a simple glass with a friend, reaches a climax of confirmed drunkenness, and falls, ending with death or suicide. (Doc H) It was very radical depiction but it had to be to make an impact on the people. The Second Great Awakening enrolled millions of new members into the church system, and even produced new denominations. This reform movement “awakened and reformed” churches across the nation, especially in upper New York which earned the nickname the Burned Over District for all of it’s... [continues]
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