During the Progressive Era, pressure from labor, suffrage, and conservation movements profoundly changed the course of American history. Many of the reformers' ideas clashed with the male-dominated, capitalist economic structure present at the turn of the century. Some of the intended reforms opposed the current system, but the level of social unrest necessitated change. Businessmen and activists alike initiated the reforms during the Progressive Era. Government, due to the intention of calming the common man and quieting the seemingly more and more vocal middle class, supported them. In the final analysis, from the year 1900 to 1920, Progressive Era reformers were successful in bringing about reform to the United States.
American Reformers, 1815-1860 goes into the social and political issues surrounding the Jackson Presidency. Ronald G. Walters effectively chronicalizes the reformation and radicalization of the main issues prevalent in early 19th century. These issues included slavery, alcoholism, women’s rights, religion and science. He explains how these issues led to the transformation of our country into what it is today and explains the reformers responsible for such radical change. He emphasizes the idea that every individual during this time period had some sense of radical reform ideology. These antebellum reformers worked to resolve the social and political issues plaguing the nation through reform and Ronald G. Walters eloquently depicts the reform movements of the early-mid 19th century. His work is very accurate and progressive in every sense.
The antebellum period was full of social reform movements based on the urge to eradicate evil and improve human conditions in society. Despite the attempt to deal with a wide variety of reforms to provide positive changes to society these reform movements were met with varying degrees of success. This essay will focus on five of the major social reform movements of that era discussing their accomplishments, failures and impacts on America as a whole. They are the reforms of abolition, women’s suffrage, temperance, institutional and educational reforms. The reform movements of the 1830’s and 1840’s were largely due to humanitarian reasons because of a period of Enlightenment in the previous century which emphasized rational over
The United States of America experienced several reform movements from 1825 to 1850. The reformers sought to improve religion, rehabilitation of criminals and mental patients, education, slavery, and women’s rights. Each demonstrated democratic ideals to the extent that the reformers sought to incorporate the values of liberty and equality into their reform movements to improve the quality of life but did so at the expense and dismay of others.
The Second Great Awakening revolved around the new concept of national reform through religious and moral changes. These changes and transitions occurred for the benefit of the country, by withdrawing the negative aspects of society such as alcohol overuse, low quality education and prisons, and most notably slavery. Religious leaders encouraged salvation and worshipping the Christian God to be best solution for successfully reforming and improving the nation’s predicaments. Religious ideas had a remarkable role constructing reform movements in the first half of the nineteenth century in behalf of religion offering the most moral and logical path towards a better society. People of the United States were in necessity of reforms, applying the religious ideas opened up new resolutions for all classes, races, and groups of people.
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.
Going along with this the reformers actually sort of worked together to achieve their goals. Many people were advocated for two or more of the movements and others at least agreed with or supported the other reformers. Something else that tied these people together was their use of nonviolence. Of course there are a few exceptions, but most of the reformers followed this principle. Lastly, all reformers sought after the common goal of ridding their lives of immorality. Everything the reformers wanted to get rid of was seen by them as immoral. All wanted a Utopian society.
As Americans entered an era of transition and instability, they sought to expand democratic ideals in the society. In response to sudden changes occurring and traditional values being challenged, various reform movements during 1825-1850 began to focus on democratic ideals. The rise of religious revivals, movements for equal rights and protecting liberties of different social groups, want to advance society technologically, and desire to bring order and control helped reform the society to live up to the nation’s founding ideals. Teaching them (I don’t get who “them” is) the habits of thrift, orderliness, temperance and industry was a way to not only better their lives but a way to instill certain democratic values and advance the
While attempting to change certain groups’ rights was crucial, an almost equally pressing issue of reform at the time was society. Across the country, increasing the morality and appearance of United States citizens had suddenly become a much more pressing issue, and various reform assemblies, and especially the church, struggled to improve society in ways they thought helpful. Due to the mass urbanization occurring so rapidly,
Reform was the goal of the Progressive movement, and with that in mind the reformers had great success. Progressive reformers were made up primarily of middle class men and women whose two main goals were to limit the trusts and to improve conditions of life and labor. These people were part of both political parties at the time, as well as in all regions of the country, and in all levels of the government. They wanted to remove bribed members of the legislature so that just laws and regulations were made that would benefit the people rather than the power-hungry corporations. This major movement altered all aspects of life creating a better living and working environment for people. The Progressive Era reformers and federal
Impact of Reformers on American Society Between 1800 and 1900 various types of reforms and reformers strived to make America a better country. Whereas a majority of the population experienced a good life, several contentious issues could not be hidden. These problems were flagged and raised by the then reformers in the 1800s who were of the belief that America could be a better society. Everyone living in America was attracted and motivated by the available opportunities which included employment, acquisition of wealth and living a quality life. Most of the population were not able to even o exercise their fundamental human rights while a majority of the privileged were the whites and the wealthy individuals.
Social reform was underway as well with a number of institutions and social movements being devoted to improving morals of individuals and society in general. Schools started to pop up around the country. Public tax supported schools set up by Whigs in the north. The school systems were centralized at the state level and made attendance mandatory. Temperance was also part of this reform, and this was the most sustained movement in social history. The good old crusade against the use of alcohol that began in 1820. The reason for this it was argued was that alcohol led to violence, personal and social disintegration and was associated with being out of control. This effort was headed up by the middle class (women mostly) that assumed poverty, crime, and every other thing wrong with society was a result
The United States of America has the most diverse religious population in the world. In places like Iraq, Syria, Israel, Afghanistan, Yemen, and other countries too numerous to mention, countless lives are lost over religious differences. In America, a Protestant can live happily next door to a Jew, who might live across the street from a Muslim, or a Catholic, or a Sikh, or even a Humanist! This is in no small way attributed to the fact that the US Constitution’s First Amendment includes what is known as the establishment clause, which states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” effectively separating affairs of religious institutions from secular,
I started my search based off my long held interest in politics, and the issues that affect the way we govern. So I boiled that down to the entities that decide when and what we govern. Political Parties. After I had my subject I looked at the three things I believe political parties play a role in. The three areas of interest I chose were our political parties role in our history, economics, and religion, and what factors in those areas determine how political parties’ function.