What forces or ideas motivated and inspired this effort to remake and reform American society during the antebellum years?
it's a U.S. History DBQ question
DBQ 8: Antebellum Reforms
From book: Document-Based Assessment Activities for U.S. History Classes (1999 J. Weston Walch, Publisher)
Obviously, we are not going to be able to help you fit the documents in since we don't have access to them. But the overall theme of your essay should have to do with the economic changes that were impacting American society.
During this time, the Market Revolution was going on. It was making it so that Americans were becoming much less self-sufficient. Instead of working on family farms where they grew all their own stuff, they were now involved in the market economy, buying and selling things. With this change came more urbanization and a weakening of the social ties that bound people together.
In short, this was a time of great change. Change tends to bring problems and to make people uncomfortable and unhappy with how things are. This unhappiness led to attempts to fix society and it is these attempts that the question is referring to.
You might also talk about the beginning of a larger middle class in the US. This was the class whose members (often women) had the leisure and education to try to change society.