Reform Movements In The United States Essay

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Democracy, by definition, is inclusive. The goal of reform movements was to eliminate exclusiveness.This is ironic because, some reform acts only created more exclusiveness for the target group. The constitution states, “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice.” However, what everyone was debating over between 1825 and 1850 is the question, what does justice mean and who deserves it? When figuring the validity of the statement, reform movements in the United States sought to expand democratic ideals, you have to take into account that each reform movement only expanded the democratic ideals for a very specific group. An example of this would be the Indian Removal Act of 1830. While the goal of this was to expand rights of white men by offering them more land, the real group that was affected by this was the Native American groups living on this land, who were forced out of their homes. In 1829, in New York City, from the Society for the Reformation of Juvenile Delinquents, in their fourth annual report, the following is stated. “To confine these youthful criminals, is to pursue a course, as little reconcilable with justice as humanity; yet, till the House of Refuge was established there was no alternative.” This statement along with the following quote from 1834 by Charles G.…show more content…
While outliers were sometimes thrown off by the object of the movement. The Irish, during the Great Awakening, for example, were excluded by non-drinking Protestants. They were shunned for their religion (roman-catholicism) and drinking habits. Most denied jobs and forced to live out in the Five Points District. In short, if you wanted reform acts to work out for you in mid-nineteenth century america, you will have the best luck being the focus, and not just collateral
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