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Unformatted text preview: TS 90-111 Did the American Revolution Produce a Christian Nation? The Democratization of Christianity and the Character of American Politics by Nathan O. Hatch- Most dynamic popular movements were expressly religious at the inception of the American republic.- Religious leaders were successful in reaching out to marginal people- Religious ideologies and mass movements had a considerable long0term effect upon the character and limits of American politics. - To understand the democratization of American society, one must look at what happened to Protestant Christianity.- American Revolution and the beliefs flowing from it created a cultural ferment over the meaning of freedom and leadership- Ordinary people gained access to a rhetoric of liberty that wouldnt have occurred to people were it not for the Revolution- American Christianity cascaded in many creative directions in the early republic.- American Methodism evolved from British Methodism- Evangelicals wanted people to convert Americans to that- In democratic revolution: an appeal to class as the fundamental problem of society, a refusal to recognize the cultural authority of elites, a disdain for the supposed lessons of history and tradition, a cal for reform using the rhetoric of the Revolution, a commitment to turn the press into a sword of democracy, and an ardent faith in the future of the American republic- After Jeffersons election, after 1800, churches and religious movements operated in a climate in which the federal government had almost no internal functions, migration of people continued to snap old networks of personal authority- American churches werent restrictive like British churches- This nonrestrictive environment permitted an unexpected explosive conjunction of evangelical fervor and popular sovereignty- Both white and blacks where becoming Christian- Evangelical Christianity was reshaped by ordinary people- The Methodists retained power in a structured hierarchy, Mormons were ruled by a single prophet and revelator, groups such as the Disciples of Christ where...
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- Summer '09