Social Reform Movement Analysis

1567 Words7 Pages
During the period between 1825 and 1850, America experienced rapid growth in its economy, transportation, and technology, which fostered a variety of social reform movements. These societal reforms sought to expand democratic ideals through social movements, such as those that advocated for the just treatment of criminals and equal rights for females, and that furthered the “humble, working-class man” ideology; however, a few reform movements also hindered the expansion of democratic ideals, such as the nativist movement, which advocated hate against immigrants. One of the reform movements that sought to expand democratic ideals was the movement that promoted just treatment toward criminals. Prior to the time period, criminals were commonly…show more content…
Some helped to expand democratic ideals, such as those which advocated the just treatment of criminals, equality for females, and the importance of the ‘humble, working-class man’. However, some also hindered the expansion of democratic ideals, such as the formation of the Know-Nothing Party. Though these reform movements are not the first ones America had experienced since its birth as a new nation, they did pioneer the societal reform of democratic ideals. In the early foundation of America, the ideologies laid out in the Constitution were often contradicted by America’s own treatment of its citizens––ranging from all different races, genders and social classes. One issue that was especially debated for its contradictory stance in regards to the Constitution was the issue concerning slavery. However, it were these movements in the 19th century that first started to point out the hypocrisy of American ideals, and started to garner support for the advocacy of democratic ideals. Eventually, these movements would lead to more intense scrutiny of the American Constitution, and greater equality for all classes of citizens, as seen in the Civil Rights movement of the late 20th century, and America’s society today. Now a days, Americans enjoy a blessed amount of equality and opportunity, due to the societal reform movements started in the 19th century. Unfortunately, evil persists, and some discrimination is still inevitable even to today, as demonstrated in the rise of Neo-nazism and rape culture. Regardless, one must not lose hope, for within each man lies a flicker of
Open Document