CHAPTER 15 THE FERMENT OF REFORM AND CULTURE APUSH CHAPTER THEMES Theme: The spectacular religious revivals of the Second Great Awakening reversed a trend toward secular rationalism in American culture, and helped to fuel a spirit of social reform. In the process, religion was increasingly “feminized,” while women in turn took the lead in movements of reform, including those designed to improve their own condition. Theme: The attempt to improve Americans’ faith, morals, and character affected nearly all areas of American life and culture, including education, the family, literature, and the arts— culminating in the great crusade against slavery. Chapter 15 summary In early nineteenth century America, movements of moral and religious reform accompanied the democratization of politics and the creation of a national market economy. After a period of growing rationalism in religion, a new wave of revivals beginning about 1800 swept out of the West and effected great change not only in religious life but also in other areas of society. Existing religious groups were further fragmented, and new groups like the Mormons emerged.
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