“Reform movements in the United States sought to expand democratic ideals”

Topics: Frederick Douglass, Abolitionism, American Civil War Pages: 3 (829 words) Published: February 24, 2014
Apus history DBQ
The validity of the statement, “Reform movements in the United States sought to expand democratic ideals” can be assessed regarding many reformations in the time period of 1825-1850 including the American temperance movement, the women’s rights movement, and the abolitionist reform. All of which very much expanded core democratic ideology, such as equality, liberty for all, and the pursuit of happiness. All these reforms share the qualities necessary to attempt to make the United States a more civilized, utopian society. Social reform was a necessity when it came to expanding democratic ideals.

First reform in this time period was the American temperance movement. This was crucial because it was the first organized group to deal with alcohols impact on society and actually focused on the personal health and safety of American citizens. This was not the grandest of America’s issues though; in the early 1800s women had no rights outside of their household. Women could not vote, they could not own property, all they were good for was tending to house work as the men worked. This is often looked at with the transcendentalist movement of the 1830s, as they both revamp early family life and loosen the strict standards for women. In the 1800s slavery was a huge debate that divided our nation into pro-slavery and abolitionists. Many problems arose from this.

The American temperance society not only benefited from, but also contributed to the reform sentiment promoting abolition of slavery, expanding women’s rights, temperance, and the improvement of society. The argument against alcoholism was that it was most closely associated with many negative factors such as domestic violence, family neglect, and chronic unemployment. Document H is a political drawing from the library of congress meant to emphasize the negative effect that will weigh...
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