The three traits that characterized Americans during the period according to the travelers were materialism, equalitarianism and a reformist or "do good" attitude. According to one traveler, Ms. Martineau, "wealth was the most important object in life". Travelers also observed that Americans practiced "social democracy" in which people from the lower classes could speak on an equal level or in a familiar manner with those who were above them in social station. Americans were also observed to be "reformist" or they had a tendency to effect change for the better of society and that this had apparently worked - as for one, according to Mrs. Trollope, there were no beggars on the streets.
a. Horace Mann - considered the "Father of American Education" whose pioneering work in education in Massachusetts became the model for other states. He firmly believed that education was the great social equalizer and justified taxation of all citizens to support the education of all children.
b. Noah Webster - the "Schoolmaster of the Republic", he propagated common American language through his dictionary and wrote one the first American textbooks, "The Blue Blacked Speller. Webster firmly believed that the job of educators was a more important job than those of lawmakers or preachers and that education was key to nationalism and political stability.