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 aimed to establish a
society with a mystical, intuitive way of thinking, that emphasized self...