DBQ As the Second Great Awakening sprung up in Antebellum America during the early 1800s, a time of new ideas and change came upon the nation. The religious revival promoted emotionalism in Americans, sparking a chain of social reforms. These reforms sought to shape the moralities of Americans and gain liberty for those in need of it–expanding democratic ideals. In political aspects, major reforms such as the abolition movement and the women’s movement aspired to lawfully gain natural rights such as suffrage and civil rights.
Economically, several reforms were rooted in hopes of achieving economic stability in American families. Furthermore, the ultimate goal of all these movements was to create a humanized and fair society. The reforms following the 2nd great awakening sought to expand democratic ideals in political aspects by fighting for political justice for Americans. For instance, the women’s movement began after the female community, caught up in the fervor of the awakening, realized they too could ‘purify’ the country.
Several leaders began to emerge such as Susan B Anthony, Catharine Beecher, Lucretia Mott, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. These women sought to gain women’s suffrage, freedom from their male spouses, rights to work and to be educated, rights to property, and representation in the government which they had taxed to support. In 1848, they specifically stated their motives for reform at Seneca Falls, NY in their ‘Declaration of Sentiments’ (doc. I).
The women’s rights movement sought for liberty and justice for women, both major components of democratic ideals.
The women’s movement slowly faded as the overpowering abolition movement came into focus. Economically, social reforms during the antebellum era aimed to create economic stability and equality. For example, the temperance movement was a female led reform to end alcoholic drinking. Socially, reforms supported democratic ideals by seeking a humane and civilized society.
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