The Effects Of The Second Great Awakening

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The Antebellum Period in America occurred between 1815-1860. During this time period, religion, economic expansion, and social reform all greatly changed the United States and ultimately formed the nation that we have today. The effects of the Second Great Awakening greatly affected religion, the market revolution permanently changed the American economy, and social reform movement lobbied for temperance, women’s rights, the abolition of slavery, and institutions for those in poor mental health. The Second Great Awakening began around 1790 and gained momentum in the early nineteenth century. The Second Great Awakening was led by established religious leaders who were worried about low church attendance in young America. The crescendo of the Great Awakening occurred in 1820s and 1830s when Reverend Charles Grandison Finney led revivals, some of which lasted for months, in New York and New York City. Evangelical churches such as the Baptsists and Methodists enjoyed explosive growth as a result of the Second Great Awakening. By 1840, Methodism was the most prolific religion in America. The once popular belief of Deism, a religious belief that is predominantly hostile to organized churches and was widely believed by many of the nation’s framers, saw a decrease in the amount of followers - because Christianity was was becoming predominant in American society. Before the Second Great Awakening had taken full effect in the United States, Mercy Otis Warren writes that Americans are “bent on gratification, at the expense of every moral tie, they have broken down the barriers of religion.” The effects of the Second Great Awakening were not only significant inside churches; the religious movement triggered a broad spectrum of activism and... ... middle of paper ... ...the market revolution all occurred in this time period. Ideas like moral suasion and total emancipation were hotly debated, partly because of the religious movement that was simultaneously occurring. The market was very quickly growing, and the invention of the steamboat and the Erie Canal only made trade more accessible and affordable. The Antebellum Period foreshadowed an American future in which slavery was abolished and trade was more accessible. Together, these events strengthened American both morally and economically. As Ralph Waldo Emerson writes in 1837, “ We will walk on our own feet; we will work with our own hands; we will speak with our own minds.” Citizens of the United States recognized the value of freedom and independence, but during the Antebellum Period and leading up to the Civil War, many Americans had to decide who should and should not be free.
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