During the Age of Jackson (1820’s-1850) America became more politically, economically, and socially democratic. In the political sense, the Age of Jackson marked the rise of the “common man” characterized by an increased political voice for poor white Americans (but, not for women or African Americans). Similarly, the Age of Jackson coincided with the democratization of religion during the Second Great Awakening. This religious revival led to the increased popularity of the concept of perfectionism. The dual concepts of “perfectionism” and “democratization” that characterized this era, led many Americans to become increasingly optimistic and socially aware. As a result, this era is characterized by many Americans seeking to improve society via social reform movements. These movements included: education, temperance, the treatment of the mentally ill, abolitionism, and women’s rights. In addition, this time period also marks the emergence of an American cultural identity best demonstrated by the American Renaissance and the rise of transcendentalism. All of these political and social changes were occurring against the backdrop of an increasing sense of sectionalism developing in the U.S. over the issue of slavery, differing economic paths, and the role of the federal government.