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Democracy and Reform Movements - Essay Example

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Democracy and reform movements Name: Institution: Abstract Democratic and reform movements in the U.S started during Andrew Jackson presidency from 1829 to 1838. His influence on American politics was felt during and after the end of his time. The years between 1824 to 1840 were generally referred as the “Age of Jacksonian democracy” and the era of the common citizen…
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Democracy and Reform Movements
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Download file to see previous pages Most of the reform movements were geared to movement towards a democratic society which provided equal rights for all the people. One of the greatest movements was the women’s reform movement which demanded for more women participation in the state affairs like voting rights. Elizabeth Candy Stanton organized and participated in the Seneca Falls convention where major statements on the promotion of women rights were made but women seemed not interested in the movements. Other reform movements which took place include the new correctional prison system which called for better treatment of prisoners but did not emphasize on their democratic rights. Temperance movements which enforced spread of equal opportunities to all attempted to help women and children whose lives had been worsened by the drinking fathers and husbands. The blacks were considered as second class citizens who were not even allowed the right of citizenship in the American society. The period was marked by massive settlement of Native Americans in Mississippi River and the concentration of wealth in few of the American upper social class. The reform movements of that period only focused on ending the economic inequality among classes in the Native American citizens and did not advocate for the rights of the black people. Some states abolished the property and tax qualifications for voting which saw a record high of 355,000 votes cast in 1824 where the number kept on increasing to reach 1.1 million after four years due to the end of the property qualifications. The method of voting was initially orally where the voter would state his choice but the years of 1820s saw dramatic shift since few voters would hardly vote against a candidate when his supporters had crowded the voting place. There was introduction of ballot papers which gave the voter more autonomy in choosing his preferred elective candidate though the ballot papers were themselves prepared by the political parties due to lack of government bodies which could oversee the election process. Political offices became more democratic and elective rather than appointive hence leaders became more accountable to the public. By 1932, most of the states with exception of South Carolina shifted the selection of the members of the electoral college from their legislature directly to the voter hence there was introduction of more voting democracy. Democracy and reform movements Introduction The ideals of equality, liberty and pursuit of happiness characterized the desires of American population up to the period 1850. The desire was to make America civilized in order to expand democratic ideals by expanding the moral standards of the common citizens. Movements like the women and slave movements focused on the liberty (Murrin, 2012). Movements like temperance, abolitionist and natives to public schools and better living conditions were some movements which were pursed with democratic ideals (Greer, 1949). Women movement strongly reinforced the importance of morality and equality through the struggle for social justice and the desire to see a more civilized American society which would be more productive (Boyer, 2008). The rise of democratic politics can be traced back to 1824 -1832 when the republicans on suspicion of the government policies on spread of cotton to the south ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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