Religious services bridged the elite with under-classmen as well as the government with the common man. Quite often divine will was debated on the issues of slavery, social reform, abolishment, and the roles in which men and women were to play. The fact that these issues were debated illuminated the dark-gray areas in which morality first penetrated. Through the veins of morality come a fairness doctrine that is all too consuming when applied to one's self. No one wanted to be cheated out of their freedom and access to it. Social morality was the driving force of cooperation and debate during the Jacksonian Era.
Old Hickory himself, President Andrew Jackson, knew the importance of having the common man behind him in a democracy; even if in reality he was not behind the common man. Jackson, who sought divine intervention, used the loyalties of believers to push through his agenda against the banks. The banks became “the evil giant” (the Goliath) that sought to destroy this new country along with its citizens. Jackson used his knowledge of religion to gain support and public opinion as he convinced them that his motives were righteous. In Harry L. Watson’s book, Liberty and Power, he wrote;
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...od and that they were upholders of the law through their moral convictions.
Many churches were the center of their community in the early-1800s. The church was a place to bind closer relationships with others in the community to include businesses and other social venues. Many public figures had this one thing in common, that is their will of self-perception be defined in the public view as one with character and high moral convictions. Religion produced social morality which became the substance that bound all elements of society in the Jacksonian Era.
Earle, Johnathan H. Jacksonian Antislavery and the Politics of Free Soil 1824-1854. The University of North Carolina Press, 2004.
Johnson, Paul E. A Shopkeeper's Millennium. New York: Hill and Wang, 1978.
Larkin, Jack. The Reshaping of Everyday Life 1790-1840. New York: Harper & Row, 1988.
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