The period from 1820 to 1850 was a time where some of the most important and diversified events in American history occurred. This period was a period of extreme reform. The main goal of this era was to make society a better place for everyone. There were many conflicts during this period in which brought about great change. Public schools were started to help the poor, women fought for their rights, and the thought of abolishing slavery were all some of the conflicts during this time.
In the 1820's, optimism was in the air. A sense of nationalism flooded America. Americans were confident, buoyant, and optimistic. They found reform, as just making America a better place. And with this nationalistic attitude, change wouldn't be very hard.
Most of the colonists were under 30. This would also make it easier to develop change throughout a nation. America was getting larger and larger. Every 23 years America would double in size. The cities were becoming dirty. There was very little street lighting, inadequate policing, impure water, foul sewage, rats and improper garbage disposal. .
There were also many waves of immigrants coming to the U.S. The Irish and the Germans were the largest groups. The Germans contributed to American society greatly. Carl Schurz was a German liberal who was a relentless foe of slavery and public corruption, contributed richly to the elevation of American political life. The Germans warmly supported education and the thought of public schools. They also stimulated art and music. They also were enemies of slavery.
One of the reforms that occurred during this time was public education. There were two motivations for the start of free school's. Some wanted opportunity for all children to learn. And others wanted public schools to Americanize immigrants. Either way, public schools would benefit our nation. Tax-supported public schools were scarce in the early 1820's. But, at the same time, the conservative Americans did not like the result of what would happen when the future Americans were not educated.