Thesis Reform Movement

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In the time of 1825-1850, United States officials and activists sought to expand the democratic ideals in which the country was founded. Activists such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton as well as many other women pushed for the right to vote, stating that both men and women were created equal, and women should be given the right to vote, for it was the democratic action to take. Other activists began to create democratic reforms as well, fighting to reinforce the ideals the nation so actively prides itself in. Many however, did not take part in these reforms, insisting that the old ways were the best ways.

The Second Great Awakening was the push that brought on these reform movements. Beginning in New England, in the late 1790s, and later spreading throughout the country, the Second Great Awakening brought on a new way to look at life. People felt freer to announce their thoughts. They weren't limited to choices about G-d and strict rules of Calvinism which before ravaged through the country, setting people's minds in narrow-minded ways. The Second Great Awakening brought on the idea that G-d may or may not exist, and it was up to the people to decide what they wished to believe. More then ever, tolerance spread throughout the nation, and people grew more eager to challenge other established institutions in which they believed their views may be tolerated--and accepted as well.

The Second Great Awakening helped expand democratic ideals as well by creating higher standards for the common man. As written by Charles G. Finney, "When the churches are...awakened and reformed, the reformation and salvation of sinners will follow." Finney also states that "drunkards, harlots and infidels" could also participate in this higher standard of life for the common man if they were reformed by the...
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