April 2 - April 2 2009 RELIGION AND REFORM-Second Great...

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April 2, 2009 RELIGION AND REFORM -Second Great Awakening -Charles G. Finney and the “Benevolent Empire” -Perfectionism -Reforms -The successful -Temperance -Education - Prison Reform -The “American” -Health and Diet Utopian Communities -Mormons -The Radical -Abolition -Women’s Rights -So What? People worried about the new nation, worried about what it means to be an American, what’s the American identity.? Worried about community and individualism. All of these changes, too much competition? Questions about God, where does religion fit in? all of these questions lead to two important events/issues that will come to the front. There will be a second great awakening and a plethora of reforms. Second Great Awakening-Religion at a low point after Revolution. 1790s, religion was in a disarray, left churches disorganized. In 1800, only 1 out of every 15 people were members of a church. The physical disruption of the war, and also the fact that the attention of the general public is elsewhere (forming armies, fighting) There’s also the new ideas that accompany the revolution (enlightenment, rationalization, men have the ability to control and change their government. They were able to overthrow government) people believed that nature and reason just as important as the supernatural. They are firmly planted in this impulse that begin to chip away at
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the purposes of Calvinism. People are beginning to think that people are naturally good, not naturally bad. They have moral instinct, maybe evil doesn’t belong in the individual, but maybe it comes in the corrupt influences of the state/church. Furthermore, going to church all day is less appealing. Decline in religion, BUT it does not spell the end to religion, in fact the opposite is true. After end of 18 th century, American were on verge of major religious revival. The 2 nd great awakening is a series of decades, not one particular point (1790-18?) early revials occurred in the N.E. during 1790s. they began because ministers see that people are apathetic to religion. They go to colleges, they become focal points of early revivals. They want to revise the faith of young white men, who seem to be the most endangered. Yale becomes one of first places. The most numerous and largest revivals took place in the West on the frontier of settlement. Was populated by Native Americans, edge of black and white settlement. The people on the frontier were living without organized religion. People who moved west brought faith and bibles, but if you’re building a new life with few people around, not a lot of time or people for organized religion. Was on the family level instead. Little group religion. Easterners worried about the west. (lawless west) Notion that it was full of violence and drunkenness. Ministers and people back east say, “we need to do something, find a way to control this’ in late 1790’s ministers travel west to these western settlements to revive the religion in this area. Cane Ridge, Kentucky—one of the earliest revivals, 1801. Thousands upon
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April 2 - April 2 2009 RELIGION AND REFORM-Second Great...

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