The statement “Reform movements in the United States sought to expand democratic ideals” is a very valid one, in regards to the years of and between 1825 and 1850. This statement bears great truth, and highlights quite simply the inclusion of egalitarian and suffragist ideologies in many and most reformative movements of this time period.
The influence of religion upon reformative groups during the years of 1825-1850 was a major proponent to said groups’ spreading of and high reverence for democratic ideology. As seen in document B, churches themselves, as influenced by the equalitarian unwritten doctrine of the Second Great Awakening, worked to accept and aid members of society who were previously untouched by the church. As listed in Doc. B, “harlots, drunkards, infidels, and all sorts of abandoned characters” were taken in by the church, “awakened” and converted. The spiritual and social aid of the church, the feelings comradery and love which came along with membership to the church, and the respect for and appreciation of all members of society (thanks to the Second Great Awakening) was anyone’s to claim, all they had to do was convert. These feelings of comradery and this notion of acceptance are two genuine democratic ideals, though there were countless more displayed and advocated by the church from 1825-1850.
Two more specific examples of democratic ideals as preached by the Second Great Awakening were the abolishment of slavery and the recognition of minority voting rights. These two views are captured brilliantly by document C. In this engraving, as created by Patrick Reason in 1835, both of these democratic movements are captured and displayed. This etching shows in artistically expressive fashion the public’s support for the abolition of slavery and the increased recognition of women’s rights, and the movement of society as a whole toward universal suffrage. This notion, that is the notion that a non-white-male was deserving of the right to...
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