Reform Dbq

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In the years following the Second Great Awakening of the United States, numerous reform factions began to spring up around the country, fueled by recent evangelical ideals. Seeking to improve and expand democratic ideals, many of these factions undertook drastic measures to achieve what they believed to be a proper aspiration. Nevertheless, it would be farfetched to claim that such reform movements within the US resulted in any positive outcomes, and it would be much more logical to claim that many of the so-called reformers were in fact trying to further their own ambitions. By keeping penitentiary, church, and alcohol reforms as a pretense for egotistical purposes, they were able to attract an elite following of people that that acted with …show more content…
It had become a brutal institution, becoming known for excessively cruel punishments for criminal offenses. Extreme cases included imprisonment for insignificant amounts of debt, and asylums were common practices for what was believed to be insanity, following medieval practices. The Society for the Reformation of Juvenile Delinquents, in 1829, reported that they were "proud" to have "rescued" the youthful from temptation and turning them into "valuable members of society". Yet by allowing the Society, and other institutions like it, to determine which of the youths were undisciplined and under the influence of temptation, the United States government was effectively allowing these organizations to diminish democracy. When these institutions were allowed to decide who was or was not "orderly", power shifted away from the people and into their …show more content…
The Temperance Movement was as a milder offspring of the teetotalism movement, which promoted a complete abstinence from alcoholic beverages. Common belief with teetotal persons included an abhorrent view of alcohol, promoting notions that even a single drink of alcohol can and will lead to brawls, poverty, crime, and ultimately death or suicide. Even the less extreme Temperance movement had attempted to stop the people's consumption of the wretched "Demon Drink". Soon, laws were being created to enforce such views, with the Maine Law of 1851 standing out amongst them, prohibiting the manufacture and sale of liquor. Even though such a law was fueled by optimistic virtues, it was anything but democratic, enforcing one group's ideals onto an entire population without their

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