Religion Sparks Reform Chapter 8.1
Charles Grandison Finney • “the father of modern revivalism” • most famous preacher of the era, inspired through personal experience. • During this period there was a movement to include women’s rights, school reform and abolition. • Reform began during the industrial growth, increasing migration and immigration.
Second Great Awakening • Preachers spread the belief of individual responsibilities arguing people were not pre-determined to heaven or hell. • At the height preachers could command as many as 20,000 followers.
Revivalism • Gatherings were called revivals or emotional gatherings designed to awaken religious faith through preaching and prayer. Could last as long as 4 or 5 days, revivalism swept across America but was most intense in western New York. It was successful. • (1800) 1 in 15 people were members • (1850) 1 in 6 were members
African American Churches • During this era Christianity spread to African slaves. The belief that black and white people belonged to the same gods, blacks and whites would worship in the same churches but in segregated pews. • In the east free Africans worshipped in separate black churches. In 1816 African Methodist Episcopal church membership grew rapidly and the church became a political power convening every year.
Transcendentalism and Reform 1/2 • Transcendentalism in the mid 1800’s led by Ralph Waldo Emerson was a philosophical and literary movement that emphasized living a simple life and celebrated the truth found in nature and in personal emotion and imagination.
Transcendentalism and Reform 2/2 • Emerson’s friend Henry David Thoreau put the idea of self-reliance into practice spending two years in the woods on the shore of Walden Pond in Waltham Mass. Thoreau believed in protesting unjust laws with civil disobedience which is protesting through peaceful means. • Example: Thoreau disagreed with the war with Mexico so he stopped paying taxes which led him to jail.
Unitarianism • Attracted the wealthy and educated in New England. They believe that conversion was a gradual process and believed social reform was both possible and important. • Americans form ideal communities and experimental groups tried to create a utopia or a “perfect place”
Shaker Communities • Believed men and women were equal and refused to fight, they vowed to never get married or have children but to adopt and convert others to keep the communities going. • 1840’s- 6,000 members • 1999- 7 members
Dorothea Dix- a reformist compelled to the reality that mentally ill patients were imprisoned. 1843- Wrote up a law that aimed to improved conditions in jails Between 1845-1852 Dix persuaded 9 states to set up a hospital for the mentally ill. Believed in rehabilitation. Schools and Prisoners Undergo Reform 1/3
Schools and Prisoners Undergo Reform 2/3 • Before mid 1800’s schools were multi grade with no uniform attendance policy. In 1834 Pennsylvania passed the first tax paid public school system. With great criticism.
Horace Mann was the first secretary of the Massachusetts Board of Education. In 12 years he doubled the money the state spent on schools. By 1850 every state provided some form of publicly funded elementary schools. Schools and Prisoners Undergo Reform 3/3