Ideally, the consequence of the Civil War affected the realization of a truly American democratic society in the sense that it upheld the rights of the people as human beings and it reinforced their roles in ensuring that the state is headed by a government that is chosen by the people and accountable to it. The reforms that were undertaken after the war include those about electoral issues, equality, the bill of rights, among other factors that defined the relationship of the people and the state in America. Particularly, civil rights legislations especially those outlawing racial discrimination were passed. In over 30 years, more than a dozen states in the North and West passed civil rights statutes establishing their own antidiscrimination policies. (Perry and Smith 71) This fitted Whitman’s vision, transforming his vision into reality. These civil rights initiatives confirmed Whitman’s position in regard to the divinity of the individual. In the Democratic Vistas, for example, he maintained that:
It remains to bring forward and modify everything else with the idea of that Something a man is, (last precious consolation of the drudging poor), standing apart from all else, divine in his own right, and a woman in hers, sole and untouchable by any canons of authority, or any rule derived from precedent, state safety, the acts of legislatures. (16)
The Gilded Age in reality, however, differed markedly from the democratic rhetoric of the Civil Rights and the developments that was supposedly achieved after the Civil War and the Restoration. At this point, for instance, there was the redefinition of liberty and property as those rights within this area were increasingly used by the wealthy and big corporations to control and exploit ordinary people.
According to Moore (2005), the freedom of speech is valuable for democracy as well as Whitman’s arguments because it preserves and promotes democracy and self-government.