George Ripley's criticism of American society was about the status quo of the population and how it conformed to society's standards. Ripley also disparaged about the social norm of teaching controversial subjects within the limits of social institutions.
Because Ripley was a transcendentalist, he found faults with the Unitarianism of the day. His belief was that empirical proof was not enough to prove the existence of God. Topics such as social restrictions and slavery also gave him concern. Ripley was a firm believer in abolishing slavery to ensure the purity of society. Ripley was significant in that he openly talked about serious issues that continued to fundamentally reform society. These issues ranged from the abolition of slavery to women's rights. These ideals transformed America radically through the Civil War and the women's suffrage movement.
Ripley's ideology was based on the concept of associationism, which made the case to reform society and simultaneously create a classless system in which people could not be differentiated from each other. Through this, he believed that noncompetition would form, and thinkers and laborers would be able to work together toward a single goal. Though Ripley was considered a radical extremist at the time, he influenced many thinkers, including Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau.