Second Great Awakening in the United States

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The Second Great Awakening was a powerful religious revival during the mid 1800s, lead by the preacher Charles G. Finney. Common beliefs and traditional customs were challenged as Americans explored new ideas of a religious lifestyle and morals. Expression within such environments mimicked societal ideals of increasing civil rights, and sought purity by avoiding misbehavior from intoxication. As a result, movements such as those against alcohol consumption and slave ownership became a controversial part of the search for utopia. The Second Great Awakening inspired several movements including the movement for abolitionism and the movement for temperance in society in the Northern region of the United States. The temperance movement grew during the Second Great Awakening as the United States urged for a perfected state of morality. The goal of the temperance movement was to prohibit drinking and to essentially ban it from the country. The Second Great Awakening created awareness of alcoholism. Many men would turn into alcoholics and abandon their wives and children, these women affected largely inspired the temperance movement. Many others felt that alcohol prevented consumers from being civilized members of society. The American Temperance Union was formed to fight against the spread of alcohol. The temperance movement thrived in the North rather than the South because of the different economies. The Southern economy was based on agriculture, which required slaves while the Northern economy was market based. Groups, such as the Daughters of Temperance, formed by the thousands under the American Society for the Promotion of Temperance. In 1851, Maine became the first state to prohibit the consumption and sale of alcohol statewide... ... middle of paper ... ...mericans also began to have their impact on expressing the need for spreading abolition. Frederick Douglass published his memoir that explores the struggles of growing up and living in slavery. The Second Great Awakening provided many moral conflicts through the increase of religion, which questioned traditional social norms. Overall, the Second Great Awakening was advantageous for America in regards to bringing equality and extinguishing unnecessary drinking. As the ideas that sprung up competed for superiority, religions thoroughly fueled the basis of how Americans should approach living life. Temperance and slavery were viewed to have evil qualities that would essentially ruin the United States and doom the people residing there to Hell. The Second Great Awakening awakened Americans to their new freedom to challenge tradition and form a newly structured nation.
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