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Era of American Revolution (1700s) Trattner chapter 3.

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1 Era of American Revolution (1700s) Trattner chapter 3

2 Need for assistance Widespread poverty May have contributed to wish to break from British Changes in religious expression, along with increasing need among the people, led to discord

3 Who needed help? Disabled veterans, their widows and orphans Survivors of those lost at sea Seasonally unemployed Children born out of wedlock Needy immigrants Refugees (Acadians)

4 Victims of economic downturns Fire victims Survivors of diseases and epidemics (dysentery, measles, smallpox, typhoid, malaria, scarlet fever)

5 Substantial public response Boston spent 500 pounds in 1700 and 4000 by 1725 on poor relief Estimated 25% of NYC population poor or near poor

6 Growing private response “Doing good” became important for wealthy Noblesse oblige characteristic of southern landholders (Washington) Churches helped disease and disaster victims (Established state religion, headed by the Crown of England) Quakers important –may have used humanitarianism to counter opposition from established state church and majority religious oppression

7 Voluntary help groups: nationality, fraternal, social (e.g., Scots, Irish, Germans, French) Complementary roles of public and private aid characteristic of this period

8 Social Phenomena Contributing to Social Welfare Interest Great Awakening Enlightenment American Revolution

9 Great Awakening Evangelical movement beginning in late 1720s Focused on “born again” experience Open air revivals, itinerant preachers, weakened authority of established church Characteristic of Presbyterians, Baptists and Methodists

10 Great Awakening Stressed possibility of salvation for all (not just the elect) People became concerned with the salvation of others Encouraged humane attitudes and “doing good” among all social classes

11 George Whitefield English preacher who made 7 visits to US Greatest impact during 1739-41 30,000 heard him speak in Boston Extraordinary fund raiser (Franklin) Assisted slaves by encouraging their learning to read to save their souls

12 Enlightenment Grew out of writings of Newton and Locke Belief that progress always possible Every human can use reason, has the potential to be good and can improve society Poverty and other injustices can be eliminated– social reform a consequence

13 Religious freedom Enlightenment & Great Awakening movements fueled the Revolution as much as political issues Freedom of conscience in all matters Established churches in many colonies placed severe restrictions on members of other faiths, including not only worship but also aid to the needy Struggles across the colonies to disestablish the state church and allow others to flourish met great opposition Roger Williams and Rhode Island

14 Isaac Backus Baptist clergyman and church historian Mayflower descendent, born in CT Served as a parish clergy in MA Faced severe discrimination from the established (non-Baptist) church of the state Lobbied strongly and repeatedly for freedom of religion, as a protection from the state “Nothing is more evident, in reason and the Holy Scriptures, than that religion is ever a matter between God and individuals, and, therefore, no man or men can impose any religious test without invading the essential prerogatives of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

15 American Revolution Declaration of Independence implies improving the lot of the common person New nation can overcome faults of European society Democracy inconsistent with illiteracy and poverty Separation of church and state, banning of slavery in north, attacks on debtors’ prisons

16 Problems and Issues in the New Nation Displacement of people led to state responsibility (New York) for “state poor” In hard times localities can’t handle responsibilities to poor Poor laws implemented in new territories With separation of church and state county (not town) took over welfare in south

17 Welfare not handled on a national basis (states’ rights and limited central government) Frontier emphasized individual responsibility, personal achievement, and self help As wealth grew, charity and philanthropy increasingly associated with social recognition and status

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