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Second Awakening Essay Research Paper The Second

Second Awakening Essay, Research Paper The Second Awakening By the 1800 , the revivalist energies of all these congregations were combining to create the greatest surge of evangelical fervor since the first

Second Awakening Essay, Research Paper

The Second Awakening

By the 1800 , the revivalist energies of all these congregations were

combining to create the greatest surge of evangelical fervor since the first

Great Awakening sixty year before . Beginning among Presbyterians in

several Eastern colleges , the new awakening soon speard throughtout the

country , reaching its greastest heights in the Western regions . In only a few

years , a large proportionof the American people were mobilized by the

movement ; and membership in those churches embraceing the revival – most

prominently the Methodists , the Baptists , and the Persby tersian – was

mushrooming .

The Second Great Awakening was not entirely uniform , but its basic

thrust was clear . Individuals must readmit God and Christ into their daily

lives , must embrace a fervent , active piety , and must reject the skeptical

rational beliefs . Yet the wave of revivalism did not serve to restore the

religion of the past . Few denominations any longer accepted the idea of

predestination ; and the belief that a person could effect his or her own

destiny , rather than encouraging irreligion as many had feared , added

intensity to the individual s search for salvation . Nor did the awakening

work to reestablish old institutionalforms of religion . Instead , it reinforced

the spread of different sects and denominations and helped to create a

general public acceptance of the idea that people could belong to defferent

Protestant churches and still be committed to essentially the same Christian

faith .

One of the striking features of the awakening was the perponderance

of women involved in it . Young women , in particular , were drawn to

revivalism ; and female converts far outnumbered males . In some areas ,

church membership became overwhelming female as a result . One reason

for this was that women were more numerous than men in regions during

this ear .

The Second Awakening also had significant effects on black

Americans and on relations between the races . In many areas evivals were

open to people of all races ; and many blacks not only attended , but ardently

embraced the new religious fervor . Out of these revivals , in fact , emerged

a substaintial gourp of black preachers , who became important figures

within the slave community . Some of them translated the apparently

egalitarian religious message of the awakening – that salvation was available

to all – into a similarly egalitarrian message for blacks in the present world .

The Second Awakening also had effects , of course , on the rational

freethinker , whose skeptical philosophies had done so much to produce it

. They did not disappear after 1800, but their influence rapidly declined ; and

for many years to come they remained a distinct and defensive minority

within American Christianity . Instead , the dominant religious characteristic

of the new nation was a fervent revivalism , which would survive well into

the mid-nineteenth century .

The new religious enthusiasm meshed with the cultural and political optimism of the early

republic . Many Americans were coming to believe that their nation had a special destiny :

that its political system would serve as a model to the world , that its culture would

become a beacon to mankind . Now there were voices arguing that the United States had

a religious mission as well : that American revivalism would lead to the of the entire

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