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The Second Great Awakening
Transcript of The Second Great Awakening
Religious Revival in the 19th Century
Reaction against Rationalism
Puritan teachings are rejected by believers in more liberal and forgiving doctrines.
It was a religious revolution by the educated
Reverend Timothy Dwight of Yale University, motivates young men to become evangelical preachers.
Successful preachers were audience-centered, and easily understood by the uneducated.
They offered salvation for all.
This populist movement seemed attuned to the democratization of society.
Revivalism in New York
In 1823, Charles G. Finney started a series of revivals in NY.
Finney appealed to people's emotions and fear of damnation.
He preached that all were free to be saved.
Because of Finney's influence, western NY became known as the "burned over district" for its frequent "hell and brimstone" revivals.
In the South and on the western frontier, Baptist and Methodists preachers like Peter Cartwright would travel from one location to the next preaching at outdoor revivals.
By 1850, the Baptists and Methodists had become the largest denominations in the country.
Baptists and Methodists
Many believed that the world was coming to an end.
William Miller gained thousands of followers by predicting that on Oct. 21, 1844, the second coming would occur.
The Millerites would continue as a religion, now known as the 7th Day Adventists.
The LDS church was founded by Joseph Smith in 1830.
Smith based this religion on the Book of Mormon that traced the connection between the Natives and the lost tribe of Israel.
Smith faced persecution and was killed by a mob.
Later, Brigham Young migrated to Utah, establishing New Zion.
This religious movement caused divisions in society.
The democratization of religion lead to changing ideals about individuality in society.
Women, who were very active in revivalist meetings sought a greater voice in American society.
Activist religious groups provided both leadership and volunteer societies that drove reform and intellectual movements in the antebellum era.
The Impact of the 2nd Great Awakening
Mother Ann Lee (1736-1784)
Founded upon the
foundation of simplicity
Believed in equality of
the sexes and celibacy.
Southern Religious Movements
The Anglican Church dissolves after the American Revolution
Presbyterians, Baptists and Methodists move to Southern States.
Southern blacks embrace evangelicalism.
These conversions threaten the mastery of Southern white males.
Southern Women embrace religious revival.
Southern ministers steer away from anti-slavery views.
Northern Religious Movements
Revival sweeps through the North.
American Christianity became a mass enterprise.
But the debate over slavery will divide religious denominations.
In France, I had almost always seen the spirit of religion and the spirit of freedom pursuing courses diametrically opposed to each other; but in America, I found that they were intimately united, and that they reigned in common over the same country… Religion was the foremost of the political institutions of the United States.
-- Alexis de Tocqueville, 1832
The ranges of tents, the fires, reflecting light…; the candles and lamps illuminating the encampment; hundreds moving to and fro…;the preaching, praying, singing, and shouting,… like the sound of many waters, was enough to swallow up all the powers of contemplation.