Chapter 8Section1 The Second Great Awakening
One American's story • Charles Grandison Finney was a preacher who converted at the age of 29. Finney traveled by horseback to deliver his message. When he preached his listeners moaned, shrieked and fainted. • The convert’s duty was to spread the word about personal salvation to others. This religious activism was part of an overall era of reform that started in the 1830’s. • Reforms of the period included women’s rights, school reform, land abolition. • All these movements emerged as responses to rapid changes in American society like industrialization.
The second great awakening • The impulse towards reform was caused by the Second Great Awakening. Which was the revivals of the broad religious that swept the US in 1790. • Finney and other preachers rejected the 18th- century belief of pre-destination. Instead they emphasized individual responsibility for seeking salvation. • These preachers insisted that people could improve themselves and society • Religious ideas of the 19th century promoted individualism similar to the emphasis of Jacksonian democracy on the power of the common citizen. • Churches split over these new ideas, forming various denominations which then competed to convey the message of a democratic God who extends the possibility of salvation to all people. • Preachers at this time could sometimes draw audiences of 20,000 or more at outdoor camps.
Revivalism • A revival is classified as, an emotional meeting designed to awaken religious faith through impassioned preaching and prayer. • A revival could last for 4 or 5 days, during the day participants studied the Bible and examined their souls. At night they heard emotional preaching that could make them cry out, or burst into tears, or tremble with fear. • Revivalism swept across the US in the 19th century. Some of the most intense revivals took place in a part of western NY known as the burned over district because religious fires frequently burned there. • Charles Finney led these revivals and held many in Rochester, NY. • The Rochester revivals earned Finney the reputation of “the father of modern revivalism.” • In 1800 1 in 15 Americans belonged to a Church, but by 1850 1 in 6 was a member.
The African-American church • The Second Great Awakening also brought Christianity on a large scale to enslaved African Americans. • There was a strong democratic impulse in the new churches that all people black or white belonged to the same God. • This belief created the new Methodist and Baptist churches which were open to both blacks and whites. • This limited equality was interpreted as a promise for freedom by the enslaved African Americans. • In the East many free African Americans worshipped in separate black churches. Like Richard Allen’s Bethel African Church in Philadelphia. • Which by 1816 would become the African Methodist Episcopal Church.
The African American church • Membership in the AME Church grew rapidly. It became a political, cultural, and social center for African Americans.It provided schools and other services that whites denied them. • Eventually the African American Church developed a political voice and organized the first black national convention in Philadelphia in September of 1830. • Richard Allen convened the meeting in which the possible settlement of free African Americans and fugitive slaves in Canada was discussed. • Allen’s convention was the first of what would become an annual convention of free blacks in the North. • The African American Church gave its members a deep inner faith, a strong sense of community and the spiritual oppose to slavery.
The second great awakening • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sjt392m36yo
Transcendentalism • By the Mid 1800s, some Americans were taking pride in their new culture • Ralph Waldo Emerson, a New England Writer, nurtured this pride by leading a group that practiced transcendentalism • Transcendentalism-philosophical and literary movement that emphasized living a simple life and celebrated truth found in nature and in personal emotion and imagination • Transcendentalists spawned a literary movement that stressed optimism, freedom and self-reliance • Henry David Thoreau, a friend of Emerson, put self-reliance into practice • Thoreau lived alone for 2 years and wrote Walden, where he advises readers to follow their inner voices • Thoreau urged people to not obey unjust laws and to peacefully do so by practicing civil disobediance
Unitarianism • Unitarians emphasized reason and appeals to conscience as the paths to perfection • Believed conversion to Christianity was a gradual process and that it was “the perfection of human nature, the elevation of men into nobler beings” • Agreed with thought that individual and social reform were both possible and important
Literature of Transcendentalists • Ralph Waldo Emerson • Poet, Essayist and lecturer from New England • Developer of transcendentalism • Emphasized truth in nature, emotion, and imagination • Margaret Fuller • Editor of the transcendentalist journal • Demanded equality and fulfillment for women • Henry David Thoreau • Believed people should act based on own views of right and wrong • Wrote Walden, where he urged people to reject greed and materialism in their lives
Utopias • Utopian communities emerged from religious and social reforms, which aimed to become self-sufficient and “perfect” places to live. • New Harmony, Indiana and Brook Farm, Massachusetts near Boston were some of the best known utopian communities.
Utopias • Brook Farm, established in 1841 by George Ripley, wanted it to create a society of people who could live in harmony amongst the outside pressures. Unfortunately, a fire destroyed their town hall and the community dissolved. • Usually the utopias only lasted a few years
Shaker Communities • Shakers believed in gender equality and sharing goods with each other, and refused to fight. • They set up communities in New England and the frontier. • Shakers did not have children, so they relied on adoption and converting to continue their community.
Section 4Schools and Prisons Undergo Reform Thousands of Americans united to fight various social illnesses throughout the nation in the mid-19th century.
Reforming Asylums and Prisons • In 1831 French writer Alexis de Tocqueville observed US society claimed to have extended liberty, but prisons demonstrated the opposite • Dorothea Dix joined social reform movement • Horrified that mentally ill were housed with prisoners in MA • 1843 Dix sent a report of her observations to the MA legislature • Passed a law intended to improve conditions • 1845-1852 nine Southern states persuaded to build public hospitals for mentally ill http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cTUZQ8Fj73E (2:50-4:00)
Improving Education • No standardized educational policy in US • Classrooms not divided by grade • Few children continued school beyond age of ten • 1830s Americans demanded tax-supported public schools • 1837 Horace Mann became first secretary of MA Board of Education • Established teacher-training programs • Introduced curriculum reforms • Doubled money MA spent on schools • By 1850s every state had some form of publicly funded elementary schools • Took years before public schools were established in far West and Southern states Political cartoon about free public schooling