Chapter 7 –Life in the New Nation1783-1850 Section 1 – Cultural, Social and Religious Life
Cultural Advancement • American scholars and artists • Noah Webster – respected teacher and author • Mercy Otis Warren – she held political meetings at her home during the revolution; wrote several patriotic plays in favor of independence; in 1805 wrote History of the American Revolution. • Benjamin Rush – doctor, scientist, revolutionary; signed the Declaration of Ind. and represented PA in Continental Congress; published books on chemistry and medicine • Benjamin Banneker – had mixed African American and white ancestry; writer, inventor, mathematician, astronomer; surveyor (mapped out DC); in 1791 published the first issue of an almanac that detailed the movements of the moon, sun, planets and stars • Charles Wilson Peale – artist; painted more than 1,000 portraits; soldier in Revolution, representative in PA legislature, scientist, inventor; father of 17; founded first major museum in US • Phillis Wheatley – slave whose owners recognized her intelligence as a child and allowed her to learn to read and write; published her first poem in 1770.
Charles Wilson Peale’s portrait of Thomas Jefferson, 1791 • On Being Brought From Africa To America • 'Twas mercy brought me from my pagan land,Taught my beknighted soul to understandThat there's a God, that there's a Savior too:Once I redemption neither sought nor knew.Some view our sable race with scornful eye,"Their color is a diabolic dye."Remember Christians; Negroes, black as Cain,May be refin'd, and join th' angelic train. • ----Phillis Wheatley
Cultural Advancement, continued • Education • Webster called for establishing standards for a national language and compiled the first major dictionary of American English. • Goals of education were many. Example, in Massachusetts, teachers were to teach “the principles of piety, justice, and a sacred regard to truth, love to their country, . . . chastity, moderation and temperance, and those other virtues which are the ornaments of human society and the basis upon which the republican Constitution is structured.” • Republican Virtues • Self-reliance, hard work, frugality, sacrificing individual needs for the good of the community, honesty, self-restraint, discipline • Americans looked to women to set the standards for these virtues. • Schools set up “female departments” to teach women these virtues so they could influence the men.
Social Changes • Population growth • 1780 – 2.7 million people in 13 states • 1830 – 12 million people in 24 states • 90% of increase in population due to increase in number of children born to each family even though there was high infant mortality (babies less than 1 year old dieing). Early 1800s about 130 out of every 1,000 children died before their 1st birthday. Today it is about 7 out of every 1,000. • Half of the population of US in 1820 was under the age of 17 (today half is under 35) • Mobility • US is a mobile society – one in which people continually move from place to place. 2 major effects of a mobile society: • Great opportunity to improve one’s life. Move from one place to another and start a new life. (Of course, not all, such as slaves, benefited from this). • People who moved found themselves living among strangers instead of family and friends. Needed new skills – such as the ability to judge strangers.
Social Changes, continued • New rules for courtship and marriage • Women, realizing that appearances do not provide enough clues to a person’s character, wanted longer courtships to both get to know a potential partner and to negotiate the terms of their life together. • Women did not have many employment opportunities, so getting married was often a matter of survival • Also, women started getting more interested in religion.
Religious Renewal • By 1790, only 1 out of every 10 Americans belonged to a church. That was soon to change. • The Second Great Awakening (refresh – what was the first?) • Began in Kentucky and Tennessee • Just like a hundred years earlier, this was an evangelical movement affecting Protestant Christians. Evangelical when emphasizes 3 ideas: • Christian Bible (Scripture) is the final authority • Salvation can be achieved only through a personal belief in Jesus • People demonstrate true faith by leading a transformed life and by performing good deeds. Sometimes called “witnessing for Christ.” • It was democratic – anyone rich or poor could be saved if they chose to do so. Stressed the importance of the congregation (members of the church) rather than ministers • Revival – a type of gathering in which people were brought back to religious life by listening to preachers and accepting Jesus. • Women were active in the Second Great Awakening.
Religious Renewal, continued • New denominations • Denomination – religious subgroup • Several Protestant denominations grew quickly. US in 1800s had more different Christian denominations than any other nation • Fastest growing: • Baptists – Only those old enough to understand Christian beliefs should be baptized – and did so by complete immersion • Methodists – created by British minister. Attracted followers for 4 reasons: • Personal relationship with God rather than religious doctrine • Methodist ministers were common folks instead of highly educated scholars • Traveling ministers called circuit riders • Frequent, exciting, camp meetings (revivals) • Unitarians – Not evangelical, but still gained strength. Believe Jesus was a human messenger of God but not divine himself. Looked at God as a loving father, not a stern judge. Offered moderation and reason instead of intensity and emotion. • Mormons – 1830, Joseph Smith published The Book of Mormon which he said he found on gold plates in the ground. He founded a religion called the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Religious Renewal, continued • Fastest growing denominations, continued • Millennialists – believed that the US was leading the world into Earth’s final thousand years of glory before the Day of Judgment. One minister predicted Jesus would return to Earth in March of 1843. This was called the Advent or the Second Coming. The minister said only those who knew about it ahead of time and believed in it would be saved and go to heaven. When Jesus did not return in March of 1843, they changed the date to October 22, 1844. When that didn’t happen, they formed several churches including the Seventh-Day Adventist Church and the Advent Christian Church. • African American Worship • Many African Americans also turned to evangelical religion • Black and white traditions came together – ex: call-and-response method of worship – congregation responds together to a statement made by one member • Both also sang spirituals. African Americans used songs with a double meaning, for instance Moses freeing slaves. http://www.trilulilu.ro/JuliaAgripina/3a07f8b64dbc58?video_google_com
Chorus:Go down Mosesway down in egypt landtell all Pharaoes toLet My People Go! When Israel was in Egypt land...Let My People Go!Oppressed so hard they could not stand...Let My People Go!So the God sayeth: 'Go down, Mosesway down in Egypt land tell all Pharaoes toLet My People Go!'So Moses went to Egypt land...Let My People Go! He made all Pharaoes understand...Let My People Go!Yes The Lord said 'Go down, Mosesway down in Egypt land tell all Pharaoes toLet My People Go!'Thus spoke the Lord, bold Moses said:-Let My People Go!'If not I'll smite, your firstborns dead'-Let My People Go!God-The Lord said 'Go down, Mosesway down in Egypt land tell all Pharaoes toLet My People Go!'tell all PharaoestoLet My People Go African American spiritual with double meaning
African American Worship, continued • African Americans sometimes felt unwelcome in white-dominated churches • 1787 – white worshippers at the St. George Methodist Church in PHILADELPHIA asked the African Americans in the congregation to go sit in the gallery. They refused. Under the leadership of Richard Allen, they left and started their own church. Other cities, similar things happened. In 1816, 16 congregations joined together and formed the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME). Richard Allen was elected their first bishop. By 1831, AME included 86 churches with about 8,000 members. • Democratic nature of the Second Great Awakening gave the message that what mattered in the US was not wealth or education or color but what MLK would later call “the content of one’s character.”