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Reform Movements

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Kent Andreasen

APUSH. Per.3

December 12 2010

Reform Movements

During the time period of 1825-1850, ideals of equality, liberty and pursuit of happiness that defined democrat were inculcated into the masses of America through a series of reform movements that emerged in the antebellum era. The desire to make a utopian society and to have a better religious standard helped the people be more productive in the society. The movement for women rights and slavery helped spread the word for liberty. Even though the reform in education and nativists seemed to be incomplete, the actions of abolitionists, women rights, and temperance reformers achieved great success to expanding democratic ideals through struggles for equality and creating a more civilized society.

The people who believed in a public education opposed the democratic idea. The Second Great Awakening reinforced the idea of equality for everyone, but the belief of Nativism held the people back from believing in the Second Great Awakening. Samuel Morse stated "no foreign who come into the country after law is passed shall ever be allowed the right of suffrage." He is opposing the reform to give foreigners more rights. Morse's strong ant foreignism was a direct opposition to the democratic ideal of equality. The education reform did seek to expand democratic ideal but not up to its full potential. William G. McGuffey supported the ideal that all people deserve to get their own education and become more independent thinkers. It was very hard for poor people to afford going to school when the cost to attend school was so high. The poor had to work on getting food on the table at that time not worried on giving their children a public education. In that time education was very limited to everybody but those who were rich. Black slaves in the south were also forbidden to be instructed at schools or anywhere on reading and writing. The Education reform and nativist movement appeared to be slightly democratic or completely opposed toward the principle of democratic.

The reformers for women rights and slavery sought to expand democratic ideal by struggle for social justice and sense of equality. A fight for female rights was started by Elizabeth Cady Stanton. The Seneca fall of Declaration stated "all men and women are created equal" which illustrates her powerful idea of democracy for men and women. For the first time in history women made I clear that representation in government would be needed to obtain equality for all women. She and other women fought democratic expansion in the area of feminism. In 1835, Patrick Reason created an engraving depicting black women in a slave cage. The quote "Am I not Women and a Sister" represents both abolition and women's suffrage. During that time period



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