There were numerous forces and ideas that motivated and stimulated the endeavors to remake and modify American society during the antebellum years. Reforms were in part due to the massive renovation the United States went under after the War of 1812. There was rapid change occurring; from growing inequality, loosening family and community ties and other various social problems. Religion was also a prime motivation for a huge amount of the reforms taking place at this time. As Francis Grund (DOC 3) proposed, Religion assisted the reformers in their revolutionary struggle, religion made them appeal to defending their liberties. Provoked by the Second Great Awakening, many reformers advocated for improvements and believed in self-improvement. They encouraged such reforms as renouncing alcohol, and eventually their reforms broadened to political aspects. The political reforms that the religious inspired reformers advocated dealt with anti-slavery issues, temperance, and institutional reform. Other reformers who were motivated by the social problems ignited by the war of 1812 and other societal problems advocated reforms for establishing public schooling, promote women's rights, and battle poverty among other various reforms. .
Numerous of the Reformers were motivated by the sense that one could improve them greatly, and become a well functioning part of society. Many, such as Horace Mann (DOC 4), were public education reformers. They believed that if they didn't prepare their children to become good citizens by enriching their minds and etc., that the republic otherwise known as society, would go down in destruction. President Andrew Jackson's idea adds insight to the reasons and motivations of campaigning for reforming of ones self (DOC 1); He believed that by elevating our people and institutions people can become more God-like in character and capable of governing himself.