Essay: Liberalism, Socialism, and Religion in the mid-1800s

Topics: Human rights, Religion, United States Declaration of Independence Pages: 2 (484 words) Published: November 1, 2013
“Reformation: the act or process of improving something or someone by removing or correcting faults, problems, etc,” Merrian-Webster dictionary. The 1830’s and 1840’s was a time of great hope and a time of great despair for many people groups in America. We’d won our independence, established our colonies, got rid of the savage Indians, so now it was time to mold the country based on our ideals. There was a problem though: humans do not always share the same views as the consensus. This created a wide variation of different reformations. These reformations can be put into different categories of underlying beliefs. These categories can help explain why there were so many different programs and approaches to reformation. Liberalism played a huge role in spurring on many of the beliefs of the reformations. Some examples of liberalistic reformations could be women’s rights reformation and abolitionism. Liberalism is founded on the ideals of liberty and equality. This way of thinking has inspired and supported views such as free and fair elections, civil rights, human rights, and personal freedoms. This way of thinking directly ties into women’s suffrage because some liberals at the time would agree that “all men and women are created equal.” Women’s rights activists constantly cited the Declaration of Independence in order to push their agenda. The idea of human rights, civil rights, and personal freedoms obviously ties into slavery. Slavery was a direct infringement on human rights because it dehumanized the African-American peoples. Socialism is another view that inspired many movements, such as Utopianism, education, women’s rights, and abolitionism. The reason socialism covers such a vast amount of ideals is because it is such a hard term to define. Utopian societies represented very socialist views because they envisioned an ideal and attempted to bring it about by social revolution. They envision a society they want, and then work towards it. Socialism...
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