Essay: Reform challenges to Traditional Social Norms, Gender and Racial Aspects

Essay: Reform challenges to Traditional Social Norms, Gender and Racial Aspects

The democratic ideologies proposed during the Jacksonian era opposed the social, economic and religious American systems[1]. During and prior to reforms of this period, America was largely dominated by racism, slavery and a rise in social inequality. This is because, women had no civil rights, were not allowed to vote and were legally controlled by their husbands.

The south largely depended on slavery for their economic and domestic activities while the north tried to free slaves and move towards a more democratic era. To support these divergent views, the southerners used divine sanctions while the north tried to move towards a modern industrial era[2]. The problem with the lack of acceptance of reforms was the draught and tough economic conditions experienced by the southerners who believed the reforms only benefited the north[3].


[1] Genovese, E.D., Yeomen Farmers in a Slaveholders’ Democracy (Agricultural History Society, 49(2), 1975 ): 331

[2] Genovese, E.F. and Genovese, E.D., The Devine Sanction of Social Order: Religious Foundations of the Southern Slaveholders’ World View (Journal of the American academy of Religion, 55(2), 1987): 211.

[3] Oates, S.B., The Fires of Jubilee: the Nate Turner’s Fierce Rebellion (NY: Harper & Row Publishers, 1817) 42.

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