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How the American revolution expanded democratic ideals Essay

  • Submitted by: mblueyecandy
  • on December 16, 2008
  • Category: History
  • Length: 1,248 words

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Below is an essay on "How the American revolution expanded democratic ideals" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

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...

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