There were many ideas and forces that motivated people to reform American society during the antebellum years. Such as: anti-slavery, social reform movements, and women's rights movements. They were all key roles in the effort to remake American Society.
Anti-slavery was a very big force that inspired reform in America. The American Anti-Slavery Society was a very important group that was founded by William Lloyd Garrison. Garrison started up his own paper called the Liberator, and he thought that all men were created equal. He demanded the reformation of American society, by protesting slavery, and demanding that they have a right to be free and vote. Another reason why abolitionism spread throughout the country in the antebellum years was because of former slave speakers. Speakers like Frederick Douglass and Sojourner Truth, who traveled the North giving first hand information about slavery.
Social reform movements like temperance, and utopianism led many to try to reform America. Excessive drinking was a national problem, so it was a popular reform target. Groups were formed where they would get together and have an intervention with a person with a drinking problem. They tried revival methods and dramatic breakthroughs in order to stop them from drinking. The temperance movement worked because the amount of alcohol consumed was reduced to half of what it was. Utopianism was also a force that led to reform. People had different perspectives on what we should perfect in order to have a Utopian society. Many believed that if we perfect out institutions, that democracy would become so perfect, the voice of the people would become the voice of god. Others believed that religion was the key to reform, because Americans look upon religion as a promoter of civil and political liberty. Also, religion was the key to reform, because it opposed wars and promoted "good citizenship".