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1815-1848. Sto Mahoney Tom Jackoboice 11/11/10 A.P. U.S. History. Religion and Reform. First Great Awakening . Occurred in the 1730’s and 1740’s Inspired by the affirmation that human ability and reason was beginning to outweigh that of God’s control over man

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Religion and reform


Sto Mahoney

Tom Jackoboice


A.P. U.S. History

Religion and Reform

First great awakening
First Great Awakening

  • Occurred in the 1730’s and 1740’s

  • Inspired by the affirmation that human ability and reason was beginning to outweigh that of God’s control over man

  • Church Members felt the need to correct this new sentiment

  • Fostered deep sense of guilt and redemption

  • Launched Evangelical Movement  Protestants meandered across New England preaching the Gospel

  • Introspection was encouraged to achieve an elevated connection with God

  • A series of religious revivals were widespread throughout New England

Second great awakening
Second Great Awakening

  • Background:

  • Began in 1790, lasted till about 1840

  • Arose primarily as a backlash to the “age of reason”

  • Similar to FGA, renewed interest in religion inspired a wave of social activism

  • Denominations mainly affected: Methodists, Presbyterians, Baptists

  • Sparked another intense period of Evangelicalism in the South and West

Burned over district
Burned-Over District

  • Initiation of the SGA in 1790 and is referred to as the region in Western New York

  • Named for its overabundance of hellfire-and-damnation preaching  all evangelical fervor had been channeled into this region, therefore it

  • Also the epicenter of Revivalism  numerous “revivals,” or large gatherings of people were held to listen to preachers

  • Produced dozens of new denominations, communal societies, and reform movements

Religion and reform

At such Religious Revivals, adherents and interested parties would spend several days hearing the word of God from various religious leaders.

Important figures
Important Figures

  • Charles Grandison Finney:

  • Born 1792

  • Practiced Law  experienced a religious epiphany

  • In 1821, Finney started conducting widespread revivals in Western New York

  • One of his well-known sermons titled “Sinners Bound to Change Their Own Hearts”

  • Sought instantaneous conversions: held protracted meetings that lasted several days, placed people on “anxious bench”, encouraged women to pray publically for souls of male relatives

  • Main desire was to direct people away from depravity and preached that people should dedicate their lives to God

Important figures1
Important Figures

  • Lyman Beecher:

  • Born 1775

  • Presbyterian clergyman, revivalist and social reformer, helped promote of a series of religious revivals in the Congregational Churches of New England around the time of the War of 1812

  • Also believed that people “should accept self-discipline while also engaging in long-term moral self-improvement, sometimes called sanctification” (Howe 188)

  • Especially influential in the Temperance Movement

Temperance movement
Temperance Movement

  • Since Revolution, Whiskey had become the most popular beverage

  • Temperance reformers viewed indulgence of alcohol as a threat to public morality

  • Believed drunkenness threatened the family  a valued aspect of society at the time

  • Women played a vital role in the movement as they were seen as the “angels of the house”

  • Organizations such as the American Temperance Society were created

  • Popular because middle class was embracing a new ethic of self-control and self-discipline; desired to do so in order to confront a new world of economic growth and social mobility w/o losing culture or moral bearings

Religion and reform

The Drunkard’s Progress– Propaganda warned that a drinker who began with “a glass with a friend” would follow a path to poverty, despair and death

Expectations of people
Expectations of People

  • Evangelical preachers “urged people to search the scriptures for themselves and apply the lessons they found there to their own lives” (Howe 188)

  • Generally speaking “the believer was expected to remake himself or herself into a new person– to be born again” (Howe 188)

  • A new identity was to be attained: a follower of Christ and a rational, self-ruling individual