The Second Great Awakening, the religious revivalist movement of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, ignited not only a religious revolution that transformed the American landscape, but it also developed and cemented the individualistic ideologies that have driven American thought in subsequent generations. At its core, the Second Great Awakening was a religious response to the uncertainty of the period. The nation at the time was redrawing its boundaries westward to accommodate the booming population. The established Protestant denominations of the day, the Congregationalists and Anglicans, had failed to create their much desired religious utopias and discontent in their traditional beliefs set in. Through the means of renewed religious enthusiasm, a movement spread throughout the young nation seeking to reverse the spiritual apathy that had set in many of its Christian adherents.
With tensions rising between New Lights and Old Lights in Connecticut conflicts broke out. The conflicts that arose caused many acts to be created by the Connecticut government disallowing preaching in the state by revivalists from other states. The conflicts and issues that arose during the Great Awakening in Connecticut brought light to ideas of rights that eventually made up the foundation of the later American society and brought light upon the unalienable rights of religious freedom. (colonialwarsct.org) The issues present in the New England colonies during the Great Awakening brought about a change of m... ... middle of paper ... ...d people to strive for rights of religious freedom and the separation of church and state. Connecticut had experienced the most radical Great Awakening repercussions.
The term they were known for, "Puritan”, came from their goal of purifying the church and restoring it to how it is described in the Bible (“Puritans” World Book). During this time of reform, there were Puritans with more radical views such as removing bishops and replacing the Episcopal with a new Presbyterian system. At the same time, there was also a group of independents with even stronger radical views. These independents later broke off from the Puritans and became known as the Baptists. A man named John White led the main sending of Puritans to Massachusetts and the main expansion of the Puritans religion (Melton 52; 58).
“Much of the impulse towards reform was rooted in the revivals of the broad religious movement that swept the Untied State after 1790” (Danzer, Klor de Alva, Krieger, Wilson, and Woloch 240). Revivals during the Second Great Awakening awakened the faith of people during the 1790s with emotional preaching from Charles Finney and many other influential preachers, which later helped influence the reforms of the mid-1800s throughout America. The Second Great Awakening swept through the United States during the end of the 18th Century. Charles Grandson Finney was one of the major reasons the Second Great Awakening was such a success. Finney and his contemporaries rejected the Calvinistic belief that one was predetermined by go God to go to heaven or hell, and rather preached to people that they need to seek salvation from God themselves, which will eventually improve society has a whole.
The Enlightenment theory added to the oppression of British rule led to a revolution. Although not as significant as the Enlightenment, the Great Awakening still had a deep impact on colonial society. Primarily, the conflict that arose between the religious revivalists and ultimately ended in a split in the evangelical group changed the face of religion in the British colonies. The New Light revivalists spawned such denominations as Baptist and Methodist, which differed in the old lights beliefs in doctrine and matters of faith. These new sects resulted in a stronger tolerance toward religious diversity.
Deism and Changes in Religious Tolerance in America Religious conscience in America has evolved considerably since the first settlers emigrated here from Europe. Primary settlements were established by Puritans and Pilgrims who believed "their errand into the wilderness [America] was above all else a religious errand, and all institutions - town meeting, school, church, family, law-must faithfully reflect that fact" (Gaustad 61). However, as colonies grew, dissenters emerged to challenge Puritan authority; indeed, many of them left the church to join untraditional religious sects such as "the Ranters, the Seekers, the Quakers, the Antinomians, and the Familists" (Westbrook 26). Debates over softening the stance on tolerance in the church engendered hostility in many religious leaders, priming some officials to take action. Whether it was in direct response to "the liberalizing tendencies beginning to take hold in some [.
They had goals for mercantilism and increasing the prosperity of England. Finally, the Middle colonies were founded upon diverse religions because their primary focus and purpose was to make money or to populate the country. Overall, every colony was colonized due to specific reasons or concerns. However, England’s religious conflicts had grown full-blown, resulting in the colonization of nearly all the American colonies. During the religious upheavals of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, one group of radical Protestants was known as Puritans because they wanted to “purify” the established Church of England.
Lastly how the Second Great Awakening democratized American Christianity. Hatch tells the reader that the religious communication changed in only two ways in the years following the American Revolution. The first way in which religious communication was that “clergy men lost their unrivaled position as authoritative sources of information (Hatch 125).” The second way in which the religious communication changed “was an explosion of popular printed material (Hatch 125).” This explosion of printed word changed Protestant Christianity. Exploiting of the press many pamphlets, tracts, books, songs and newspapers were published in order to extend the reach of Christianity and to battle other religions and naysayers. But even men of proper learning and character found it difficult to infuse elitist communication and gospel for the common man (Hatch 128).
The Second Great Awakening had its start in Connecticut in the 1790s and grew to its height in the 1830s to 1840s. Beginning the revolution, the largest denominations were Congregationalists, Anglicans, and Quakers; however, by the early 1800’s, Evangelical, Methodism, and Baptists were on the rise in the nation. During the time of the Awakening in United States history, churches experienced a more complete freedom from governmental control, opening the doors of opportunity to a great spiritual awakening in the American people. This awakening focused on areas of both religious and social issues of the time, which were important to the religious movements and the nation as a whole. The Second Great Awakening was driven by such issues, which included a focus on the increase in “evils” associated with the recent rise of industry and a lack of the political ideals of freedom of choice.
Afterward in his argument, McLoughlin writes" As the opinion (the great awakening) spread after 1742 throughout the colonies, many came to believe that Americans could not effectively fulfill this mission so long as they were tied to a corrupt, oppressive, and tyrannical monarch and Parliament in England " The general effect of this Great Awakening had the outcome that the colonies were able to develop a new kind of neocolonial unity. This could have also been part of the resistance to the laws and such if the British. Lastly, McLoughlin says that the revolution in a way can be described as the political revitalization of a people whose religious regeneration began in the Great Awakening.