Reform Movements Dbq

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Most Reform Movements during the period of 1825-1850 embodied democratic ideals, while others sought to carry out those ideals but ended up undermining the basis of the ideals. Democratic ideals can best be described as the expansion of democracy, extension of freedom and rights to all, the right to a second chance, and the fulfillment of necessary changes in society. Some reform movements expanded democratic ideals through change and reform. Other reform movements sought to expand democratic ideals, but were actually opting not to expand democracy or change for the will of society. During the period of the Jacksonian Democracy, there were strict rules on how people such as, criminals, Immigrants, slaves, woman, drunkards, and the insane should be treated. However, during the age of reform, all of these would be addressed and through democratic ideals, changed.

The reform of the treatment of the insane and juvenile delinquents was backed by democratic ideals. The idea that people should be given a second chance and that we, as a strong country should make an effort to change people were prominent ideas during the asylum reform movement. Dorthea Dix, one of the leading activists on the side of the delinquents and the insane, created the first mental institute. She and many others thought that we should give these people a second chance to be valuable members of society (Doc. A). She advocated that we should should learn how to counteract their ways and habits to make them part of society. Democratic ideals were exemplified through the asylum reformation movement and were used to demonstrate how to treat people that are insane or delinquent.

During the Second Great Awakening, democratic ideals were established. Again there was a thought of giving people a second chance, and that everybody could be saved. Through conviction, repentance, and reformation, people who were lost in sin and debt could now become part of the saved and holy. (Doc. B) This...
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