Review the prompt and the classmates discussion post. Respond to discussion post.


This “age of improvement” held both a collective (public) component and an individual (private) component. That is, the impulse for reform aimed at improving American society by elevating the moral behavior of individual Americans. Discuss this process by examining the various reform movements that defined the age. How did this impulse for reform seek to impact the broader political, cultural, and economic landscape of American society? When responding to your peers, discuss what the reformers hoped to accomplish. What impact did their efforts have?

Discussion Post:

The Jacksonian Era became the age of improvement in many way after the Revolution. Scholars sought new ways to remedy the social ills of society and to find ways to move the needle on progress.[1] For instance both collectively and individually Americans were in the pursuit of useful knowledge. Higher education and learning was considered to be what makes a thriving and progressive society and people who were educated in various arts and sciences were considered the upper crust member of society.[2] Americans such as William Maclure thought themselves to be of the best country and most progressive society in the world. Scientific developments would benefit the country by expanding their production potential and solidifying their status as a superior nation overall.[3] American citizens pursued studies in fields like natural sciences and botany. Naturalist Thomas Say made it his life’s work to “support and honor American Science”.[4] Zoologist James De Kay speaking before the New York of Natural History explained how the natural curiosity of American citizens complemented and co-operated with American free political institutions and would make them leaders of the new world and in all things regarding the “achievements of the mind”.[5]