How the American revolution expanded democratic ideals

1248 Words5 Pages
Ever since the idea of democracy spawned in the thoughts of Americans after the revolution, citizens have attached themselves to the strong moral bases of it, and have consistently fought to keep a democratic spirit in their beloved country. These democratic ideals of freedom, equality and fair rights have heavily influenced Americans to demand many reformations. Religious reformations were called to oppose the confinement of religions that seemed to reject, rather than purify citizens, with their opposition to equality and freedom. Slavery reformations were demanded for the obvious mistreatment of slaves and their right to be considered equal. Womens rights reformations were also called, due to the fact that women had very little rights, and were certainly not considered equal to men. Finally, institutional reformations were demanded to reconstruct more suitable institutions for citizens, to replace the rather vulgar structures they were accomodated to. Therefore, it is indeed valid to conclude that reform movements in the U.S. sought to expand democratic ideals. During the early decades of the 19th century, the Second Great Awakening struck. A hurricane of religious revivals swept through the United States, mostly to counteract the rationalistic ideas of early Calvinists, who believed only a select few could be saved. These new religions however, encouraged all to be saved, as Charles G. Finney states in document B, "Harlots, and drunkards, and infidels, and all sorts of abandoned characters, are awakened and converted." Perhaps the most famous groups of these religious revivalists, were the transcendentalists. They were a group of writers who questioned the doctrine of the established churches, criticized materialism and the pursuit of profit, and believed in artistic expression over wealth. They
Open Document