A Nation Awakening-- Pre-cival war American history

Essay by hatetowriteCollege, UndergraduateA, February 2006

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In the times after the War of 1812, with a growing economy and an expanding nation, social views were taking a turn towards a more equal society. Although primitive in its beginning, the views and beliefs of the mid 19th century Americans had spawned activists and institutions that would start to transform the American social standard in the years to come. These rapid changes also had a converse affect on American views and beliefs.

One changing view of society was the assumption of the faith of human nature, romanticism, which was the belief that individuals basically were good. This assumption led to activists against slavery, female suffrage, and literary works expressing the inequalities of society and the integrity of nature. These beliefs also led to reforms in education and rehabilitation. Public school systems were set up in all the states, although still primitive and unequal especially in the south, it was the beginning of a valuable resource in democracy.

Rehabilitation was also a product of this new assumption. The Asylum Movement, which led to the building of penitentiaries and mental institutions, was the beginning of reforms in criminal discipline. Rehabilitation was actually a mix of two beliefs in America, it stems from romanticism with the use of order and control.

Order and control was a desire of the people to restore stability to our nation. Groups of people came together to form religious groups like the Mormons and the Shakers. They both had rigid social organization, which set them apart from the romanticism ideals of the times. The Shakers had set new ideas of women equality were as the Mormon accepted polygamy as a social norm. This just shows the contrasting views of society and there attempts to establish social norms.

These two assumptions of people in the mid 19th...