Creation of Democracy In America

Creation of Democracy In America

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As America distanced itself from Great Britain's government, it attempted to create a more democratic society. America succeeded in religious democracy, giving people the chance to choose if they wanted to go to church, and which church they would go to. Also, American society was able to increase political democracy, by giving the less wealthy places in office. Unfortunately, economic democracy worsened, as the rich just became richer, and a lot of people didn't even own land. Social democracy also declined, because the rich still had most of the power in congress. Obviously, from the 1750s to the 1780s, while America improved in some respects, overall it became a less democratic country.
During the later 1700s, America experienced a period of spiritual resurgence, referred to as the Great Awakening. During this time, religious democracy was at an all time high, because not only could people choose to go to church, they could choose which church to go to. As seen in Document I, religion was divided into two groups of people, the new lights, represented in this document by Rev. Ebenezer Frothingham, and the old lights, represented in this document by Rev. James Lockwood. The new lights were people who felt that religion needed to change with the times, and were very lenient on allowing people in their congregation, coming to church regularly, etc. The old lights, on the other hand, felt that people needed to hang on to the old order. Unfortunately for the old lights, the law was in favor of changing religion as well. As seen in Document K, the law allowed people to stay home on the Sabbath and not be punished by the law. Also seen is the law that refused ministers the right to be exempted out of poll taxes and assessable estates, changing a law that was in favor for ministers that supported the old lights, like Lockwood. As you can see, religious democracy had some radical changes over a thirty-year period time, and definitely improved for the better of America.
Another positive change occurred for political democracy during the 1750s and on until the 1780s. By giving the less wealthy a greater percentage in office, as well as having more people voting and elected to office, political democracy during this time period had an extremely positive effect on American democracy as a whole. In Document H, one can see that in twenty years, the percentage of the richest people in Wethersfield holding offices went down by almost twenty percent, while people in the bottom half of the social structure holding offices increased by more than ten percent.

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Also, as seen in Document G, the amount of people who voted increased by more than twenty percent in a twenty-year period, while people elected to town offices increased by exactly twenty percent. Obviously, political democracy changed dramatically, as many more people were given the chance to hold office, and vote for who held these offices.
Unfortunately, not all democracy experienced a positive change, as economic democracy slowly declined over a thirty-year period. The rich only became richer, as the top ten percentages of adult white males gained more land and money than anyone else. In Document B, it shows us that the highest ten percent of adult white males gained fifteen percent more land from 1756 to 1773, increasing to a staggering fifty percent of all the land available in Wethersfield. The bottom fifty percent of adult white males barely eclipsed the five percent marker. Also, as seen in Document C, people who had no land increased from only 17 percent in 1756 to 33 percent in 1773, less than twenty years later. Thirdly, as evidenced by Document D, the money was almost strictly passed down through the family, and poor people had little chance to become a part of the wealthy. Clearly, people of wealth intended on keeping their wealth in their families, and as a result, economic democracy was unable to improve and not only remained stagnant, but became worse than it was in the early 1700s.
Another part of democracy that failed to improve during the aforementioned time period was social democracy. Social democracy and economic democracy are linked pretty tightly, so when economic democracy struggled, so did social democracy. As seen in the previously mentioned Documents B, C, and D, the gap between the rich and the poor only grew larger as time progressed. Also, money did not circulate, and as a result only certain families that were rich to begin with were gaining money, while the poor ended up getting less and less. Unfortunately for America, social democracy was left in shambles, and definitely did not improve at all throughout the late 1700s.
As you can see, America proved that it was able to establish an excellent religious and political democracy, but the economic and social democracies suffered greatly. Sadly, the bad outweighs the good, and America's government in the 1780s was worse than in the 1750s. Obviously, America made a valiant attempt at creating an all around good democracy with improvements in some areas, but the regression in other respects makes their attempt a failure, and America's democracy deteriorated throughout the late 1700s.
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