Revivalism and Reform in Antebellum America by aua56698

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									Revivalism and Reform in
  Antebellum America




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    The Second Great Awakening Democratizes Salvation




                                           A Camp Meeting

    Second Great Awakening occurred in the context of great migration west and a fascination with
     the lifestyle of the American wilderness
    Admission of new states west of the Appalachians provided opportunity for Western expansion
    Thousands of people began moving west
    This put considerable strain on religion
    Churches needed to be more flexible due to these socio-economic upheavals
    The “parish” had to be reapplied to changing times
    Presbyterian preacher James McGready was instrumental in the Second Great Awakening
    Hosted what became known as frontier camp meetings
    Loosely organized church meetings in which preachers delivered informal sermons to large, non-
     affiliated congregations
    Many conversions took place during camp meetings                                               2
     Charles Finney: "What a Revival of Religion Is"
   The Second Great Awakening
    rethought the old Calvinist doctrine
    of predestination
        Salvation is reserved for the "elect"
         who are pre-chosen by God
   It favored of the view that man is
    responsible for both his own
    salvation and the moral condition of
    society at large
   Led to profound changes in the
    institutional structure of the church
   Laypeople began to transform
    society in God's image through
    missionary, evangelical, and
    benevolent work
   Prominent Northern evangelist
    Charles Finney defined revivalism
    as a human effort to catalyze
    conversion and salvation for
    individual souls, rather than a
    miracle bestowed by God                      Charles Finney

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Anti-Slavery Protestant Voices
                 Protestant dissent to slavery came to
                  prominence after the Second Great
                  Awakening
                 While not exclusively anti-slavery by
                  nature, it did act as a catalyst for many anti-
                  slavery Protestant voices to emerge
                 One such advocate of abolition was William
                  Wilson
                      In The Great American Question, he calls
                       for an abolitionist movement to take the
                       1848 election, thus linking politics and
                       religion
                      Slavery, argued Wilson, goes directly
                       against all that is taught in the Bible
                 John Fee wrote An Anti-Slavery Manual
                  (1851)
                      Admonishes slavery providing a slightly
                       different religious argument
                      Argues against slavery in terms of sin
                      Like Wilson, Fee felt that slavery was an
                       affront to Christianity
   John Fee           Asserted that slave-holders needed to
                       abolish slavery for fear for their souls
                           Hell awaited those that did not renounce
                            slavery
                                 An argument used by many fundamentalists
                                  within the Christian faith        4
         The Temperance Movement
   A strong reformist impulse animated religious life
    during the Second Great Awakening
   The faithful sought to remake society in God's image
        This extended to civic life, as illustrated by the formation
         of thousands of Temperance societies
        Efforts were successful in reducing the per capita
         consumption and encouraging stricter state regulation of
         alcohol
   Lyman Beecher, father of Harriet Beecher Stowe, was
    a famous social activist
        Concerned about the negative impact of alcohol on
         society
   Abraham Lincoln, in a speech to the Washington
    Temperance Society, touched on the growing success
    and popularity of the temperance movement, and the
    obstacles that lay ahead
   The 1846 constitution of the Daughters of
    Temperance illustrates such societies’ creation of a
    new social outlet and leadership role for women in
    Antebellum American society
        Members of Martha Washington Salem Union No. 6
         vowed to abstain from the use and sale of alcohol and
         promote temperance in their communities
        The club governed itself democratically and used
         collective resources to provide a kind of life insurance for
         members
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The Rise of "Disinterested Benevolence"
                     Evangelicals strove to prepare the world for the
                      coming Kingdom of God by externalizing religion
                      through the proliferation of disinterested benevolent
                      societies
                          Formed voluntary organizations dedicated to various
                           causes including temperance, slavery, female morality,
                           missionary work, poverty, and the plight of prisoners and
                           the insane
                     The 1853 article “Dedication of the Five Points’
                      Mission House” demonstrates the link between
                      religion and civil society that was nurtured during the
                      Second Great Awakening
                     "Letter on Prostitution" was written in 1850 by
                      Caroline W.H. Dall following the 1850 Women's Rights
                      Convention
                          Her views and work were more radical
                          Linked women's rights to social reform illustrating the
                           budding notions of gender equality
                     Reformers began to see the feminine role as unique
                      and invaluable to moral purity in the family and society
                      at large
                     In "Memorial to the Massachusetts Legislature,"
                      prominent mental facility reformer Dorothea Dix called
                      attention to the deplorable treatment of the
                      commonwealth's insane
                          Her crusade for humane asylums for the mentally ill
                           coincided with a movement to reform penitentiaries
                          These reform efforts were a broader reflection of the
                           emerging notion that the fallen could be rehabilitated and
   Dorothea Dix            that Christian people ought to take responsibility for
                           alleviating society's ills


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       Observations on Religion in Antebellum America

   Alexis de Tocqueville was
    a French political theorist
    who authored Democracy
    in America in the 1830's
    after an extensive tour of
    the United States
   Emphasized the tendency
    of Americans to focus on
    reform in this world
   His observations of
    Americans' unabashed
    religiousity reflects the
    growing perception of the
    American character as
    inherently Christian during
    this time
                                       Alexis de Tocqueville
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                            Multimedia Citation




   Slide 1:
    http://www.ilstu.edu/~keciani/images/secondgreatawakening261.jpg
   Slide 2:
    http://www.pragmatism.org/american/second_awakening.jpg
   Slide 3: http://www.revival-library.org/catalogues/world2/finney-
    auto/finney.jpg
   Slide 4: http://docsouth.unc.edu/fpn/fee/feefp.jpg
   Slide 5:
    http://www.scc.rutgers.edu/njwomenshistory/Period_3/daughters.ht
    m
   Slide 6: http://www.npg.si.edu/img2/1846/7700500c.jpg
   Slide 7:
    http://amhist.ist.unomaha.edu/module_files/Alexis%20de%20Tocqu
    eville.jpg




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