The Early 19th Century America Essay

The Early 19th Century America Essay

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The early 19th century America was a pre-civil war era. Controversial topics were sparking attention and calling for solutions. Many different kinds of reforms took place. I will discuss the religious and social reforms introduced, and which one was most significant.
The Second Great Awakening took place in the beginning of the 19th century, igniting a flame amongst society. The Great Awakening brought a series of religious revivals in America. The goal of the revivals was to inspire people to change their way of life and make America a better place so that it would be ready for Christ’s return. Religious believers would travel long distances to attend the sermons preached daily.
Methodist and Baptists dominated the revival scene in the North. Charels Finney, originally a lawyer, was a prominent preacher. He believed “God has made man a moral free agent.” Finney was able to achieve the feat of starting social reform in the “Burned-Over District” of western New York. He brought social order by preaching of good works. The breakthrough in New York spread to both to the east and west.
Many results came with the religious reforms. New religions like Mormons arose around this time, and the beginning of Utopian Experiments. Utopian communities were created to make ideal communities for particular groups. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was a utopian community created by Mormons. Due to Anti-Mormons accusations stating the whole religion was fake and founder Joseph Smith was a liar, their community was moved around. After Smith was killed, Brigham Young took over and Mormons finally settled in Utah. Another religious utopian community was the Shakers. It was a very self-sufficient community by being able to sell agricul...


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...ge. Dorothea Dix devoted her life for people with mental issues to be treated humanly. She was able to advocate and investigate asylums. Dix’s efforts not only influenced twenty-eight states to build institutions for the mentally ill but gave a new role for women.
After analyzing the different reforms and the impact each one caused, it suffice to say that the Second Great Awakening or initial religious reforms were trailblazers to all other reforms. During these reforms equality was preached. Equality played major roles in education reforms, women 's suffrage, and slavery reforms. The religious reformers were able to express their thoughts about equality capturing the minds of Americans across the country. Without the religious priorities made in the early 19th century, many of the other reforms wouldn’t have been addressed as soon as they had been or even at all.

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