1800 - 1850 A Truly America Culture
The Second Great Awakening (1800-1840) A reaction to deism Enlightenment. Reason. Physical. Lockian. Puritans turned into the Congregational Church Established Congregationalists turned into Unitarian Church Very liberal. Bland compared to the past A Tidal Wave of Revival From West to Eastern cities Huge open-air rallies = “Camp Meetings” Thousands revive faith w/traveling evangelist Peter Courtright Charles Finney
Camp Meetings drew THOUSANDS for weeks at a time to “revive” their faith.
Awakening Outcomes A renewed interest in religion in America Relationships with God abound Attendance in church spiked Denominational diversity Jacksonianism taken to religion New sects by the dozen. Mormons. Cambellites Private Christian college boom Religious schools Every town had a college Reform movements Most reforms in 19th C. begin here!
Reform Movements from the Great Awakening Temperance Most revivalists called for an end to “demon rum” *ruined lives, ruined homes Called for a prohibition on alcohol 1919 a Const. amendment bans booze Even a political party sprang from this effort
Tulsa, OK Temperance Society Average people. A passionate cause. Uncommon courage.
This issue divided Christian denominations Methodists (united/free), Baptists, Presbyterians Many would weave this into their pulpit message Human nature to justify behaviors with the Bible Abolition societies quickly form in the Northeast Began to make the case for stopping the trade Pressure, the Press, Exposure Wm. Lloyd Garrison, Grimke sisters Slavery
“That which is not just is not law.” Single-minded determination and devotion.
Women’s Suffrage In early 1800s women had few rights Women entered many arenas in 1st ½ of 1800s Free Thought religions, Colleges, Revivals, suffrage Seneca Falls Women’s Conference Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and many others gathered to plan a way for women to get the vote
Prison and Insane Asylums Name change from “Prison” to “Reformatory” for youth “Penitentiary” for adults Department of “Corrections” Dorthea Dix (1802-1887) Dorothea Dix was the most influential and important reformer of the mental illness and the prison system in the United States and Europe. An abusive household characterized her early life—her mother was mentally ill and her father, a preacher, was an alcoholic. Dix moved in with her wealthy grandmother and realized her dream of teaching when she opened her own school. At the age of 39, she volunteered to teach Sunday school to women inmates at the local jail, where the living conditions were abhorrent. Prostitutes, inebriates, the mentally retarded and the mentally ill were mixed in the jail’s population with hardened criminals, without regard for gender. Dix collected numerous observations and compiled them into a report that was presented to the Massachusetts legislature in 1843.
Shakers Mennonites Amana Explosion of Individual Thought! Communal Societies Religious:
Utopian New Harmony
Inner light is key, not absolute truth (Jacksonianism in thought!) Promotes individualism. Hostile to authority Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-82) Poet/Philosopher Very popular on the “Lyceum” speaker circuit Transcendentalism
Walt Whitman (1819-92) Brooklyn born. Pro-Union. Earthy. “Leaves of Grass” “O, Captain, My Captain”
Henry David Thoreau (1817-62) “On Civil Disobedience” “Walden Pond” Free thought maverick
Other Literary Lights: Emily Dickenson Edgar Allen Poe Herman Melville Nathaniel Hawthorne Mark Twain