The SECOND GREAT AWAKENING was a Protestant religious revival during
the early 19th century in the
The revivals enrolled millions of new members in existing evangelical denominations and led to the formation of new denominations. Many converts believed that the Awakening heralded a new millennial age . The Second Great Awakening stimulated the establishment of many reform movements designed to remedy the evils of society before the anticipated Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
Historians named the Second Great Awakening in the context of the First Great Awakening of the 1730s and 1740s and of the Third Great Awakening of the late 1850s to early 1900s. These revivals were part of a much larger Romantic religious movement that was sweeping across Europe at the time, mainly throughout England, Scotland, and Germany.
* 1 Spread of revivals
* 1.1 Background * 1.2 Theology * 1.3 Burned-over district * 1.4 West and Tidewater South * 1.5 West * 1.6 Church membership soars
* 2 Subgroups
* 3 Culture and society * 4 Slaves and free Africans * 5 Women * 6 Prominent figures * 7 Political implications * 8 See also * 9 References
* 10 Further reading
* 10.1 Historiography
SPREAD OF REVIVALS
Like the First
Great Awakening a half century earlier, the Second
Romanticism characterized by enthusiasm, emotion, and an
appeal to the super-natural. It rejected the skepticism, deism , and
rationalism left over from the Enlightenment. At about the same time,
similar movements flourished in Europe.
The Second Great Awakening occurred in several episodes and over different denominations; however, the revivals were very similar. As the most effective form of evangelizing during this period, revival meetings cut across geographical boundaries, and the movement quickly spread throughout Kentucky, Tennessee and southern Ohio. Each denomination had assets that allowed it to thrive on the frontier. The Methodists had an efficient organization that depended on itinerant ministers, known as circuit riders, who sought out people in remote frontier locations. The circuit riders came from among the common people, which helped them establish rapport with the frontier families they hoped to convert.
Main article: Postmillennialism
Postmillennialism theology dominated American
Protestantism in the
first half of the 19th century. Postmillennialists believed that
Christ will return to earth after the "millennium", which could entail
either a literal 1,000 years or a figurative "long period" of peace
and happiness. Christians thus had a duty to purify society in
preparation for that return. This duty extended beyond American
borders to include Christian
Main article: Burned-over district
In the early nineteenth century, western
New York State
WEST AND TIDEWATER SOUTH
American Frontier , evangelical denominations sent missionary
preachers and exhorters out to the people in the backcountry, which
supported the growth of membership among Methodists and
These denominations were based on an interpretation of man's
spiritual equality before God, which led them to recruit members and
preachers from a wide range of classes and all races.
Main article: Revival of 1800
In the newly settled frontier regions, the revival was implemented through camp meetings. These often provided the first encounter for some settlers with organized religion, and they were important as social venues. The camp meeting was a religious service of several days' length with preachers. Settlers in thinly populated areas gathered at the camp meeting for fellowship as well as worship. The sheer exhilaration of participating in a religious revival with crowds of hundreds and perhaps thousands of people inspired the dancing, shouting, and singing associated with these events. The revivals followed an arc of great emotional power, with an emphasis of the individual's sins and need to turn to Christ, restored by a sense of personal salvation. Upon their return home, most converts joined or created small local churches, which grew rapidly. The Second Great Awakening marked a religious transition in society in America. Many Americans from the Calvinist sect emphasized man's inability to save themselves and that their only way to be saved was from grace from God.
Revival of 1800 in Logan County, Kentucky, began as a traditional
CHURCH MEMBERSHIP SOARS
The Advent Movement emerged in the 1830s and 1840s in North America, and was preached by ministers such as William Miller , whose followers became known as Millerites . The name refers to belief in the soon Second Advent of Jesus (popularly known as the Second coming ) and resulted in several major religious denominations, including Seventh-day Adventists and Advent Christians .
Main article: Holiness movement
Though its roots are in the First
Great Awakening and earlier, a
re-emphasis on Wesleyan teachings on sanctification emerged during the
Second Great Awakening, leading to a distinction between Mainline
The idea of restoring a "primitive" form of Christianity grew in
popularity in the U.S. after the
* To immigrants in the early 19th century, the land in the United
States seemed pristine, edenic and undefiled – "the perfect place to
recover pure, uncorrupted and original Christianity" – and the
tradition-bound European churches seemed out of place in this new
* A primitive faith based on the
The Restoration Movement began during, and was greatly influenced by, the Second Great Awakening. :368 While the leaders of one of the two primary groups making up this movement, Thomas Campbell and Alexander Campbell , resisted what they saw as the spiritual manipulation of the camp meetings, the revivals contributed to the development of the other major branch, led by Barton W. Stone . :368 The Southern phase of the Awakening "was an important matrix of Barton Stone's reform movement" and shaped the evangelistic techniques used by both Stone and the Campbells. :368
CULTURE AND SOCIETY
Efforts to apply Christian teaching to the resolution of social problems presaged the Social Gospel of the late 19th century. Converts were taught that to achieve salvation they needed not just to repent personal sin but also work for the moral perfection of society, which meant eradicating sin in all its forms. Thus, evangelical converts were leading figures in a variety of 19th century reform movements.
Congregationalists set up missionary societies to evangelize the
western territory of the northern tier. Members of these groups acted
as apostles for the faith, and also as educators and exponents of
northeastern urban culture. The Second
Great Awakening served as an
"organizing process" that created "a religious and educational
infrastructure" across the western frontier that encompassed social
networks, a religious journalism that provided mass communication, and
church-related colleges. :368 Publication and education societies
promoted Christian education; most notable among them was the American
There were also societies that broadened their focus from traditional religious concerns to larger societal ones. These organizations were primarily sponsored by affluent women. They did not stem entirely from the Second Great Awakening, but the revivalist doctrine and the expectation that one's conversion would lead to personal action accelerated the role of women's social benevolence work. Social activism influenced abolition groups and supporters of the Temperance movement . They began efforts to reform prisons and care for the handicapped and mentally ill. They believed in the perfectibility of people and were highly moralistic in their endeavors.
SLAVES AND FREE AFRICANS
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Topics and practices
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Opposition and resistance
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* U.K. * U.S.
* Fugitive slaves
* laws * Great Dismal Swamp maroons
* films * songs
* Treatment in U.S.
* breeding * court cases * Washington * Jefferson * Adams * Lincoln * 40 acres * Freedmen\'s Bureau * bit
* v * t * e
Despite being called the "greatest orator in America" by Benjamin
Rush and one of the best in the world by
Bishop Thomas Coke ,
Hosier was repeatedly passed over for ordination and permitted no vote
during his attendance at the
Christmas Conference that formally
established American Methodism. Richard Allen , the other black
attendee, was ordained by the Methodists in 1799, but his congregation
of free African Americans in Philadelphia left the church there
because of its discrimination. They founded the African Methodist
Episcopal Church (AME) in Philadelphia. After first submitting to
oversight by the established
The revival also inspired slaves to demand freedom. In 1800, out of
African American revival meetings in Virginia, a plan for slave
rebellion was devised by
Gabriel Prosser , although the rebellion was
discovered and crushed before it started. Despite white attempts to
control independent African American congregations, especially after
Nat Turner Uprising of 1831, a number of African American
congregations managed to maintain their separation as independent
Women, who made up the majority of converts during the Awakening, played a crucial role in its development and focus. It is not clear why women converted in larger numbers than men. Various scholarly theories attribute the discrepancy to a reaction to the perceived sinfulness of youthful frivolity, an inherent greater sense of religiosity in women, a communal reaction to economic insecurity, or an assertion of the self in the face of patriarchal rule. Husbands, especially in the South, sometimes disapproved of their wives' conversion, forcing women to choose between submission to God or their spouses. Church membership and religious activity gave women peer support and place for meaningful activity outside the home, providing many women with communal identity and shared experiences.
Despite the predominance of women in the movement, they were not formally indoctrinated or given leading ministerial positions. However, women took other public roles; for example, relaying testimonials about their conversion experience, or assisting sinners (both male and female) through the conversion process. Leaders such as Charles Finney saw women's public prayer as a crucial aspect in preparing a community for revival and improving their efficacy in conversion. Women also took crucial roles in the conversion and religious upbringing of children. During the period of revival, mothers were seen as the moral and spiritual foundation of the family, and were thus tasked with instructing children in matters of religion and ethics.
The greatest change in women's roles stemmed from participation in newly formalized missionary and reform societies. Women's prayer groups were an early and socially acceptable form of women's organization. Through their positions in these organizations, women gained influence outside of the private sphere .
Changing demographics of gender also affected religious doctrine. In an effort to give sermons that would resonate with the congregation, ministers stressed Christ's humility and forgiveness, in what the historian Barbara Welter calls a "feminization" of Christianity.
* Richard Allen , founder, African
* Seventh-day Adventist Church portal * Latter Day Saints portal * LDS Church portal
Advent Christian Church
* ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ Timothy L. Smith, _Revivalism and Social Reform:
Protestantism on the Eve of the Civil War_ (1957).
* ^ Heyrman, Christine Leigh. "The First Great Awakening".
_Divining America_, TeacherServe. National Humanities Center.
* ^ Henry B. Clark (1982). _Freedom of Religion in America:
Historical Roots, Philosophical Concepts, Contemporary Problems_.
Transaction Publishers. p. 16.
Nancy Cott , "Young Women in the Second
Great Awakening in New
England," _Feminist Studies_ 3, no. 1/2 (Autumn 1975): 15.
* ^ Hans Schwarz (2005). _Theology in a Global Context: The Last
Two Hundred Years_. Wm. B. Eerdmans. p. 91.
* ^ Frederick Cyril Gill, _The romantic movement and Methodism: a
study of English romanticism and the evangelical revival_ (1937).
* ^ Nancy Cott, "Young Women in the Second
Great Awakening in New
England," _Feminist Studies_ (1975) 3#1 p 15
* ^ Susan Hill Lindley, _You Have Stept Out of Your Place: a
History of Women and Religion in America_ (Westminster John Knox
Press, 1996): 59
* ^ _A_ _B_ Fredrickson, George M. (1998). "The Coming of the Lord:
The Northern Protestant Clergy and the Civil War Crisis". In Miller,
Randall M.; Stout, Harry S.; Wilson, Charles Reagan. _Religion and the
American Civil War_. Oxford University Press. pp. 110–30. ISBN
* ^ Whitney R. Cross, _The Burned-over District: The Social and
Intellectual History of Enthusiastic Religion in Western New,
* ^ Judith Wellman, _Grassroots Reform in the Burned-over District
of Upstate New York: Religion, Abolitionism, and Democracy_ (2000)
excerpt and text search
* ^ Geordan Hammond; William Gibson (March 1, 2012). _Wesley and
* Abzug, Robert H. _Cosmos Crumbling: American Reform and the
Religious Imagination_ (1994) (ISBN 0-195-04568-8 )
* Ahlstrom, Sydney. _A Religious History of the American People_
(1972) (ISBN 0-385-11164-9 )
* Billington, Ray A. _The Protestant Crusade._ New York: The
Macmillan Company, 1938.
* Birdsall Richard D. "The Second
Great Awakening and the New
England Social Order", _Church History_ 39 (1970): 345–364. in JSTOR
* Bratt, James D. "Religious Anti-revivalism in Antebellum America",
_Journal of the Early Republic_ (2004) 24(1): 65–106. ISSN 0275-1275
Fulltext: in Ebsco.
* Brown, Kenneth O. _Holy Ground; a Study on the American Camp
Meeting._ Garland Publishing, Inc., 1992.
* Brown, Kenneth O. _Holy Ground, Too, the Camp Meeting Family
Tree._ Hazleton: Holiness Archives, (1997).
* Bruce, Dickson D., Jr. _And They All Sang Hallelujah: Plain Folk
Camp-Meeting Religion, 1800–1845_ (1974)
* Butler Jon. _Awash in a Sea of Faith: Christianizing the American
* Carwardine, Richard J. _Evangelicals and Politics in Antebellum
America._ Yale University Press, 1993.
* Carwardine, Richard J. "The Second
Great Awakening in the Urban
Centers: An Examination of
* Conforti, Joseph. "The Invention of the Great Awakening, 1795–1842". _Early American Literature_ (1991): 99–118. JSTOR 25056853. * Griffin, Clifford S. "Religious Benevolence as Social Control, 1815–1860", _The Mississippi Valley Historical Review_, (1957) 44#3 pp. 423–444. JSTOR 1887019. * Mathews, Donald G. "The Second Great Awakening as an organizing process, 1780–1830: An hypothesis". _American Quarterly_ (1969): 23–43. JSTOR 2710771. * Shiels, Richard D. "The Second Great Awakening in Connecticut: Critique of the Traditional Interpretation", _Church History_ 49 (1980): 401–415. JSTOR 3164815. * Varel, David A. "The Historiography of the Second Great Awakening and the Problem of Historical Causation, 1945–2005". _Madison Historical Review_ (2014) 8#4 online
* v * t * e
* Second Great Awakening * Cane Ridge Revival
* _Last Will and Testament of The Springfield Presbytery_ * _ Declaration and Address of the Christian Association of Washington_
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