DBQ Essay #3
In the ante-bellum period of the United States, many reform movements emerged and were inspired by the Second Great Awakening. The reform movements had a varying degrees of success, which meant the varying effects on the expansion of the democratic ideals, such as the pursuit of happiness, and greater equality.
The Second Great Awakening that started in the early 1800’s, was a religious revival movement that encouraged the growth of new denominations, converting more people to Christianity than the First Great Awakening, Baptism and Methodism gained the most converts. This led to the spreading of human perfectibility and the converts preached on predestination. Social activism took precedence, as women were able to voice their opinions on equality and suffrage rights. Many other movements took place in the United States, and the belief in human perfectibility spread to many of the reform movements of the ante-bellum period. The democratic ideals that was lead to by some of the reform movements include the pursuit of happiness, equality, and the freedom of the people of the United States.
The reform movements of the ante-bellum period include, women’s rights, temperance, treatment of the insane and prisoners, Utopianism and Transcendentalism, abolition, and education. The Second Great Awakening lit a fire underneath the new denominations, and many people such as Lucy Stone, Dorothy Dix, and Horace Mann to act. Women fought for the right to vote, and fight for equal rights. Abolitionists wanted slavery to be abolished, they also fought for equal rights. The temperance reformers believed that alcohol led to disfigured societies and would destroy the nation. Transcendentalists believed that there was always time for self- improvement, and this overlapped with education; with education you can better yourself. Education reformers thought that education would benefit the nation as a whole, and that it should be available to all.