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Chapter 8, Section 1 Religion Sparks Reform

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1 Chapter 8, Section 1 Religion Sparks Reform
How did religion shape social and political reforms in the years ?

2 CHAPTER 8, SECTION 1 The spirit of optimism and reform affected nearly all areas of American life and culture, including education, the role of women and the family, and literature and the arts.

3 Second Great Awakening 1790-1830’s
Impact of the American Revolution on Religion Rejected: Predetermination of Calvinists and Puritans Embraced: Democratic and Individualistic Ideals of the Revolution. RESULT: Individuals may reform themselves to achieve salvation and may reform society.

4 Second Great Awakening
Revivals were the means by which the Second Great Awakening Spread. Revivals were the site of impassioned preaching, usually in tents or halls, to awaken faith and spark conversion.


6 Revivalism and Class Revivals are:
More common on frontier, South and West Less common among elites Creates more democratic churches, i.e. Methodists, Baptists, Adventists, etc. “Canary” for societal attitudes toward slavery Churches Split  Parties Split  Union Splits

7 Charles Grandison Finney
Most famous preacher of the period. Urged “christian perfectionism” Worked in Rochester, NY AKA “burned over district”

8 Counter-Reaction to the 2nd Great Awakening
Unitarianism: Emphasizes use of reason and conscience, not emotion, as means to reform and conversion. Urges members to reform society. Leader: William Ellison Channing

9 Transcendentalists (1830’s)
TRUTH IS NOT OBJECTIVE ALONE –DISCOVERED BY “INNER LIGHT” Individualism, Self-reliance, Self-Discipline Ralph Waldo Emerson, essayist Henry David Thoreau Walden Civil Disobedience Walt Whitman Leaves of Grass

10 Transcendentalism A Philosophical and Literary Movement
Emphasizes: simple life, truth found in nature, imagination and art Ideals: individualism, freedom, self-reliance Ralph Waldo Emerson: founder and leader Henry David Thoreau: Reformer Wrote Walden and Civil Disobedience, Later inspires Ghandi, Martin Luther King, others

11 Civil Disobedience Under a government which imprisons unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison. The proper place today, the only place which Massachusetts has provided for her freer and less despondent spirits, is in her prisons, to be put out and locked out of the State by her own act, as they have already put themselves out by their principles. It is there that the fugitive slave, and the Mexican prisoner on parole, and the Indian come to plead the wrongs of his race should find them; on that separate but more free and honorable ground, where the State places those who are not with her, but against her--the only house in a slave State in which a free man can abide with honor. If any think that their influence would be lost there, and their voices no longer afflict the ear of the State, that they would not be as an enemy within its walls, they do not know by how much truth is stronger than error, nor how much more eloquently and effectively he can combat injustice who has experienced a little in his own person. Cast your whole vote, not a strip of paper merely, but your whole influence. A minority is powerless while it conforms to the majority; it is not even a minority then; but it is irresistible when it clogs by its whole weight. If the alternative is to keep all just men in prison, or give up war and slavery, the State will not hesitate which to choose. If a thousand men were not to pay their tax bills this year, that would not be a violent and bloody measure, as it would be to pay them, and enable the State to commit violence and shed innocent blood. This is, in fact, the definition of a peaceable revolution, if any such is possible.

12 African American Churches
Bethel African Church founded by Richard Allen in Philadelphia. Evolves into the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME). Site for education, community, and political organization. Calls for reform and abolition.

13 School and Prison Reform
Jacksonian Democracy and Growth on Frontier spurs expansion of public schools. Horace Mann – establishes and reforms public schools system in Massachusetts. Model for most of US. Dorothea Dix – Reforms prisons & asylums Reformed care of mentally ill in South Alexis De Tocqueville -1831, criticizes US prisons, spurs reforms. Goal of prison changes: Reform, not Punish.

14 Religious and Utopian Communities, 1800-1845
Brook Farm – Founded 1841 to “prepare a society of liberal, intelligent, and cultivated persons.” Destroyed by fire in 1845. Religious motives dominated the founding of Shaker and Mormon communities. Ideas of Robert Owen & Frenchman Charles Fourier, who sought to cure the evils of competitive society by establishing a harmonious world, influenced communities like Modern Times on Long Island and the North American Phalanx at Red Bank, New Jersey. Noyes's Oneida mingled religious and secular motives in ways hard to disentangle

15 Map: Religious and Utopian Communities, 1800-1845
Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

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