Second Great Awakening

The Second Great Awakening was a Protestant religious revival during the early 19th century in the United States. The movement began around 1790, gained momentum by 1800 and, after 1820, membership rose rapidly among Baptist and Methodist congregations whose preachers led the movement. It was past its peak by the late 1840s. The Second Great Awakening reflected Romanticism characterized by enthusiasm, emotion, and an appeal to the supernatural. It rejected the skeptical rationalism and deism of the Enlightenment.

The revivals enrolled millions of new members in existing evangelical denominations and led to the formation of new denominations. Many converts believed that the Awakening heralded a new millennial age. The Second Great Awakening stimulated the establishment of many reform movements designed to remedy the evils of society before the anticipated Second Coming of Jesus Christ.[1]

Historians named the Second Great Awakening in the context of the First Great Awakening of the 1730s and 1750s and of the Third Great Awakening of the late 1850s to early 1900s. These revivals were part of a much larger Romantic religious movement that was sweeping across Europe at the time, mainly throughout England, Scotland, and Germany.[2]

New religious movements emerged during the Second Great Awakening, such as Adventism, Dispensationalism, and Mormonism.

Methodist camp meeting (1819 engraving)
A Methodist camp meeting in 1819 .

Spread of revivals

Background

Like the First Great Awakening a half century earlier, the Second Great Awakening in North America reflected Romanticism characterized by enthusiasm, emotion, and an appeal to the super-natural.[3] It rejected the skepticism, deism, Unitarianism, and rationalism left over from the American Enlightenment,[4] about the same time that similar movements flourished in Europe. Pietism was sweeping Germanic countries[5] and evangelicalism was waxing strong in England.[6]

The Second Great Awakening occurred in several episodes and over different denominations; however, the revivals were very similar.[4] As the most effective form of evangelizing during this period, revival meetings cut across geographical boundaries.[7] The movement quickly spread throughout Kentucky, Indiana, Tennessee, and southern Ohio, as well as other regions of the United States and Canada. Each denomination had assets that allowed it to thrive on the frontier. The Methodists had an efficient organization that depended on itinerant ministers, known as circuit riders, who sought out people in remote frontier locations. The circuit riders came from among the common people, which helped them establish rapport with the frontier families they hoped to convert.

Theology

Postmillennialism theology dominated American Protestantism in the first half of the 19th century. Postmillennialists believed that Christ will return to earth after the "millennium", which could entail either a literal 1,000 years or a figurative "long period" of peace and happiness. Christians thus had a duty to purify society in preparation for that return. This duty extended beyond American borders to include Christian Restorationism. George Fredrickson argues that Postmillennial theology "was an impetus to the promotion of Progressive reforms, as historians have frequently pointed out."[8] During the Second Great Awakening of the 1830s, some diviners expected the millennium to arrive in a few years. By the late 1840s, however, the great day had receded to the distant future, and postmillennialism became a more passive religious dimension of the wider middle-class pursuit of reform and progress.[8]

Burned-over district

In the early days of the nineteenth century, western New York State was called the "burned-over district" because of the highly publicized revivals that crisscrossed the region.[9][10] Charles Finney, a leading revivalist active in the area, coined the term.[11] Linda K. Pritchard uses statistical data to show that compared to the rest of New York State, the Ohio River Valley in the lower Midwest, and the country as a whole, the religiosity of the Burned-over District was typical rather than exceptional.[12]

West and Tidewater South

On the American frontier, evangelical denominations, especially Methodists and Baptists, sent missionary preachers and exhorters to meet the people in the backcountry in an effort to support the growth of church membership and the formation of new congregations. Another key component of the revivalists' techniques was the camp meeting. These outdoor religious gatherings originated from field meetings and the Scottish Presbyterians' "Holy Fairs", which were brought to America in the mid-eighteenth century from Ireland, Scotland, and Britain’s border counties. Most of the Scots-Irish immigrants before the American Revolutionary War settled in the backcountry of Pennsylvania and down the spine of the Appalachian Mountains in present-day Maryland and Virginia, where Presbyterian emigrants and Baptists held large outdoor gatherings in the years prior to the war. The Presbyterians and Methodists sponsored similar gatherings on a regular basis after the Revolution.[13]

The denominations that encouraged the revivals were based on an interpretation of man's spiritual equality before God, which led them to recruit members and preachers from a wide range of classes and all races. Baptists and Methodist revivals were successful in some parts of the Tidewater South, where an increasing number of common planters, plain folk, and slaves were converted.

West

In the newly settled frontier regions, the revival was implemented through camp meetings. These often provided the first encounter for some settlers with organized religion, and they were important as social venues. The camp meeting was a religious service of several days' length with preachers. Settlers in thinly populated areas gathered at the camp meeting for fellowship as well as worship. The sheer exhilaration of participating in a religious revival with crowds of hundreds and perhaps thousands of people inspired the dancing, shouting, and singing associated with these events. The revivals also followed an arc of great emotional power, with an emphasis on the individual's sins and need to turn to Christ, and a sense of restoring personal salvation. This differed from the Calvinists' belief in predestination as outlined in the Westminster Confession of Faith, which emphasized the inability of men to save themselves and decreed that the only way to be saved was by God's electing grace.[14] Upon their return home, most converts joined or created small local churches, which grew rapidly.[15]

The Revival of 1800 in Logan County, Kentucky, began as a traditional Presbyterian sacramental occasion. The first informal camp meeting began in June, when people began camping on the grounds of the Red River Meeting House. Subsequent meetings followed at the nearby Gasper River and Muddy River congregations. All three of these congregations were under the ministry of James McGready. A year later, in August 1801, an even larger sacrament occasion that is generally considered to be America’s first camp meeting was held at Cane Ridge in Bourbon County, Kentucky, under Barton W. Stone (1772–1844) with numerous Presbyterian, Baptist, and Methodist ministers participating in the services. The six-day gathering attracting perhaps as many as 20,000 people, although the exact number of attendees was not formally recorded. Due to the efforts of such leaders as Stone and Alexander Campbell (1788–1866), the camp meeting revival spread religious enthusiasm and became a major mode of church expansion, especially for the Methodists and Baptists.[16][17] Presbyterians and Methodists initially worked together to host the early camp meetings, but the Presbyterians eventually became less involved because of the noise and often raucous activities that occurred during the protracted sessions.[17]

As a result of the Revival of 1800, the Cumberland Presbyterian Church emerged in Kentucky and became a strong support of the revivalist movement.[18] Cane Ridge was also instrumental in fostering what became known as the Restoration Movement, which consisted of non-denominational churches committed to what they viewed as the original, fundamental Christianity of the New Testament. Churches with roots in this movement include the Churches of Christ, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), and the Evangelical Christian Church in Canada. The congregations of these denomination were committed to individuals' achieving a personal relationship with Christ.[19]

Church membership soars

1839-meth
1839 Methodist camp meeting

The Methodist circuit riders and local Baptist preachers made enormous gains in increasing church membership. To a lesser extent the Presbyterians also gained members, particularly with the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in sparsely settled areas. As a result, the numerical strength of the Baptists and Methodists rose relative to that of the denominations dominant in the colonial period—the Anglicans, Presbyterians, Congregationalists. Among the new denominations that grew from the religious ferment of the Second Great Awakening are the Churches of Christ, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and the Evangelical Christian Church in Canada.[19][20]

The converts during the Second Great Awakening were predominantly female. A 1932 source estimated at least three female converts to every two male converts between 1798 and 1826. Young people (those under 25) also converted in greater numbers, and were the first to convert.[21]

Subgroups

Adventism

The Advent Movement emerged in the 1830s and 1840s in North America, and was preached by ministers such as William Miller, whose followers became known as Millerites. The name refers to belief in the soon Second Advent of Jesus (popularly known as the Second coming) and resulted in several major religious denominations, including Seventh-day Adventists and Advent Christians.[22]

Holiness movement

Though its roots are in the First Great Awakening and earlier, a re-emphasis on Wesleyan teachings on sanctification emerged during the Second Great Awakening, leading to a distinction between Mainline Methodism and Holiness churches.

Restoration Movement

The idea of restoring a "primitive" form of Christianity grew in popularity in the U.S. after the American Revolution.[23]:89–94 This desire to restore a purer form of Christianity without an elaborate hierarchy contributed to the development of many groups during the Second Great Awakening, including the Mormons, Baptists and Shakers.[23]:89 Several factors made the restoration sentiment particularly appealing during this time period:[23]:90–94

  • To immigrants in the early 19th century, the land in the United States seemed pristine, edenic and undefiled – "the perfect place to recover pure, uncorrupted and original Christianity" – and the tradition-bound European churches seemed out of place in this new setting.[23]:90
  • A primitive faith based on the Bible alone promised a way to sidestep the competing claims of the many denominations available and for congregations to find assurance of being right without the security of an established national church.[23]:93

The Restoration Movement began during, and was greatly influenced by, the Second Great Awakening.[24]:368 While the leaders of one of the two primary groups making up this movement, Thomas Campbell and Alexander Campbell, resisted what they saw as the spiritual manipulation of the camp meetings, the revivals contributed to the development of the other major branch, led by Barton W. Stone.[24]:368 The Southern phase of the Awakening "was an important matrix of Barton Stone's reform movement" and shaped the evangelistic techniques used by both Stone and the Campbells.[24]:368

Culture and society

Efforts to apply Christian teaching to the resolution of social problems presaged the Social Gospel of the late 19th century. Converts were taught that to achieve salvation they needed not just to repent personal sin but also work for the moral perfection of society, which meant eradicating sin in all its forms. Thus, evangelical converts were leading figures in a variety of 19th century reform movements.[25]

Congregationalists set up missionary societies to evangelize the western territory of the northern tier. Members of these groups acted as apostles for the faith, and also as educators and exponents of northeastern urban culture. The Second Great Awakening served as an "organizing process" that created "a religious and educational infrastructure" across the western frontier that encompassed social networks, a religious journalism that provided mass communication, and church-related colleges.[24]:368 Publication and education societies promoted Christian education; most notable among them was the American Bible Society, founded in 1816. Women made up a large part of these voluntary societies.[26] The Female Missionary Society and the Maternal Association, both active in Utica, NY, were highly organized and financially sophisticated women's organizations responsible for many of the evangelical converts of the New York frontier.[27]

There were also societies that broadened their focus from traditional religious concerns to larger societal ones. These organizations were primarily sponsored by affluent women. They did not stem entirely from the Second Great Awakening, but the revivalist doctrine and the expectation that one's conversion would lead to personal action accelerated the role of women's social benevolence work.[28] Social activism influenced abolition groups and supporters of the Temperance movement. They began efforts to reform prisons and care for the handicapped and mentally ill. They believed in the perfectibility of people and were highly moralistic in their endeavors.

Slaves and free Africans

Baptists and Methodists in the South preached to slaveholders and slaves alike. Conversions and congregations started with the First Great Awakening, resulting in Baptist and Methodist preachers being authorized among slaves and free African Americans more than a decade before 1800. "Black Harry" Hosier, an illiterate freedman who drove Francis Asbury on his circuits, proved to be able to memorize large passages of the Bible verbatim and became a cross-over success, as popular among white audiences as the black ones Asbury had originally intended for him to minister.[29] His sermon at Thomas Chapel in Chapeltown, Delaware, in 1784 was the first to be delivered by a black preacher directly to a white congregation.[30]

Despite being called the "greatest orator in America" by Benjamin Rush[31] and one of the best in the world by Bishop Thomas Coke,[30] Hosier was repeatedly passed over for ordination and permitted no vote during his attendance at the Christmas Conference that formally established American Methodism. Richard Allen, the other black attendee, was ordained by the Methodists in 1799, but his congregation of free African Americans in Philadelphia left the church there because of its discrimination. They founded the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME) in Philadelphia. After first submitting to oversight by the established Methodist bishops, several AME congregations finally left to form the first independent African-American denomination in the United States in 1816. Soon after, the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church (AME Zion) was founded as another denomination in New York City.

Early Baptist congregations were formed by slaves and free African Americans in South Carolina and Virginia. Especially in the Baptist Church, African Americans were welcomed as members and as preachers. By the early 19th century, independent African American congregations numbered in the several hundred in some cities of the South, such as Charleston, South Carolina, and Richmond and Petersburg, Virginia.[32] With the growth in congregations and churches, Baptist associations formed in Virginia, for instance, as well as Kentucky and other states.

The revival also inspired slaves to demand freedom. In 1800, out of African American revival meetings in Virginia, a plan for slave rebellion was devised by Gabriel Prosser, although the rebellion was discovered and crushed before it started.[33] Despite white attempts to control independent African American congregations, especially after the Nat Turner Uprising of 1831, a number of African American congregations managed to maintain their separation as independent congregations in Baptist associations. State legislatures passed laws requiring them always to have a white man present at their worship meetings.[32]

Women

Women, who made up the majority of converts during the Awakening, played a crucial role in its development and focus. It is not clear why women converted in larger numbers than men. Various scholarly theories attribute the discrepancy to a reaction to the perceived sinfulness of youthful frivolity, an inherent greater sense of religiosity in women, a communal reaction to economic insecurity, or an assertion of the self in the face of patriarchal rule. Husbands, especially in the South, sometimes disapproved of their wives' conversion, forcing women to choose between submission to God or their spouses. Church membership and religious activity gave women peer support and place for meaningful activity outside the home, providing many women with communal identity and shared experiences.[34]

Despite the predominance of women in the movement, they were not formally indoctrinated or given leading ministerial positions. However, women took other public roles; for example, relaying testimonials about their conversion experience, or assisting sinners (both male and female) through the conversion process. Leaders such as Charles Finney saw women's public prayer as a crucial aspect in preparing a community for revival and improving their efficacy in conversion.[35] Women also took crucial roles in the conversion and religious upbringing of children. During the period of revival, mothers were seen as the moral and spiritual foundation of the family, and were thus tasked with instructing children in matters of religion and ethics.[36]

The greatest change in women's roles stemmed from participation in newly formalized missionary and reform societies. Women's prayer groups were an early and socially acceptable form of women's organization. In the 1830s, female moral reform societies rapidly spread across the North making it the first predominantly female social movement.[37] Through women's positions in these organizations, women gained influence outside of the private sphere.[38][39]

Changing demographics of gender also affected religious doctrine. In an effort to give sermons that would resonate with the congregation, ministers stressed Christ's humility and forgiveness, in what the historian Barbara Welter calls a "feminization" of Christianity.[40]

Prominent figures

Political implications

Revivals and perfectionist hopes of improving individuals and society continued to increase from 1840 to 1865 across all major denominations, especially in urban areas. Evangelists often directly addressed issues such as slavery, greed, and poverty, laying the groundwork for later reform movements.[1] The influence of the Awakening continued in the form of more secular movements.[41] In the midst of shifts in theology and church polity, American Christians began progressive movements to reform society during this period. Known commonly as antebellum reform, this phenomenon included reforms in against the consumption of alcohol, for women's rights and abolition of slavery, and a multitude of other issues faced by society.[42]

The religious enthusiasm of the Second Great Awakening was echoed by the new political enthusiasm of the Second Party System.[43] More active participation in politics by more segments of the population brought religious and moral issues into the political sphere. The spirit of evangelical humanitarian reforms was carried on in the antebellum Whig party.[44]

Historians stress the understanding common among participants of reform as being a part of God's plan. As a result, local churches saw their roles in society in purifying the world through the individuals to whom they could bring salvation, and through changes in the law and the creation of institutions. Interest in transforming the world was applied to mainstream political action, as temperance activists, antislavery advocates, and proponents of other variations of reform sought to implement their beliefs into national politics. While Protestant religion had previously played an important role on the American political scene, the Second Great Awakening strengthened the role it would play.[1]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c Timothy L. Smith, Revivalism and Social Reform: American Protestantism on the Eve of the Civil War (1957).
  2. ^ Christine Leigh Heyrman. "The First Great Awakening". Divining America, TeacherServe. National Humanities Center.
  3. ^ Henry B. Clark (1982). Freedom of Religion in America: Historical Roots, Philosophical Concepts, Contemporary Problems. Transaction Publishers. p. 16.
  4. ^ a b Cott, Nancy (1975). "Young Women in the Second Great Awakening in New England". Feminist Studies. 3 (1): 15. doi:10.2307/3518952. JSTOR 3518952.
  5. ^ Hans Schwarz (2005). Theology in a Global Context: The Last Two Hundred Years. Williamm B. Eerdmans. p. 91.
  6. ^ Frederick Cyril Gill (1937). The Romantic Movement and Methodism: A Study of English Romanticism and the Evangelical Revival.
  7. ^ Lindley, Susan Hill (1996). You Have Stept Out of Your Place: a History of Women and Religion in America. Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster John Knox Press. p. 59.
  8. ^ a b George M. Fredrickson, "The Coming of the Lord: The Northern Protestant Clergy and the Civil War Crisis," in Miller, Randall M.; Stout, Harry S.; Wilson, Charles Reagan, eds. (1998). Religion and the American Civil War. Oxford University Press. pp. 110–30. ISBN 9780198028345.
  9. ^ Whitney R. Cross, The Burned-over District: The Social and Intellectual History of Enthusiastic Religion in Western New, 1800–1850 (1951)
  10. ^ Judith Wellman, Grassroots Reform in the Burned-over District of Upstate New York: Religion, Abolitionism, and Democracy (2000) excerpt and text search
  11. ^ Geordan Hammond; William Gibson (March 1, 2012). Wesley and Methodist Studies. Clements. p. 32.
  12. ^ Pritchard, Linda K. (1984). "The burned-over district reconsidered: A portent of evolving religious pluralism in the United States". Social Science History: 243–265. doi:10.2307/1170853. JSTOR 1170853.
  13. ^ Kimberly Bracken Long (2002). "The Communion Sermons of James Mcgready: Sacramental Theology and Scots-Irish Piety on the Kentucky Frontier". Journal of Presbyterian History. 80 (1): 3–16.ISSN 0022-3883. JSTOR 23336302. See also: Elizabeth Semancik (May 1, 1997). "Backcountry Religious Ways: The North British Field-Meeting Style". Albion's Seed Grows in the Cumberland Gap. University of Virginia. Retrieved January 9, 2019.
  14. ^ "Religious Transformation and the Second Great Awakening". U.S. History Online Textbook. ushistory.org. 2018. Retrieved January 9, 2019.
  15. ^ Dickson D. Bruce Jr. (1974). And They All Sang Hallelujah: Plain Folk Camp-Meeting Religion, 1800–1845. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press. ISBN 0870491571.
  16. ^ Douglas Foster, et al., The Encyclopedia of the Stone-Campbell Movement (2005)
  17. ^ a b Riley Case (2018). Faith and Fury: Eli Farmer on the Frontier, 1794–1881. Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Society Press. pp. 3–4. ISBN 9780871954299.
  18. ^ L. C. Rudolph (1995). Hoosier Faiths: A History of Indiana’s Churches and Religious Groups. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. pp. 117–22. ISBN 0253328829.
  19. ^ a b Sydney E. Ahlstrom, A Religious History of the American People (2004)
  20. ^ Melton, Encyclopedia of American Religions (2009)
  21. ^ Cott (1975), pp. 15–16.
  22. ^ Gary Land, Adventism in America: A History (1998)
  23. ^ a b c d e C. Leonard Allen and Richard T. Hughes, Discovering Our Roots: The Ancestry of the Churches of Christ, Abilene Christian University Press, 1988, ISBN 0-89112-006-8
  24. ^ a b c d Douglas Allen Foster and Anthony L. Dunnavant, The Encyclopedia of the Stone-Campbell Movement: Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Christian Churches/Churches of Christ, Churches of Christ, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2004, ISBN 0-8028-3898-7, ISBN 978-0-8028-3898-8, 854 pages, entry on Great Awakenings
  25. ^ Elizabeth J.Clapp, and Julie Roy Jeffrey, ed., Women, Dissent and Anti-slavery in Britain and America, 1790–1865, (Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2011): 13–14
  26. ^ Barbara Welter, "The Feminization of American Religion: 1800–1860," in Clio's Consciousness Raised, edited by Mary S. Hartman and Lois Banner. New York: Octagon Books, 1976, 139
  27. ^ Ryan, Mary (1978). "A Woman's Awakening: Evangelical Religion and the Families of Utica, New York, 1800 to 1840". American Quarterly. 30 (5): 616–19. doi:10.2307/2712400. JSTOR 2712400.
  28. ^ Lindley (1996), p. 65.
  29. ^ Morgan, Philip. Slave Counterpoint: Black Culture in the Eighteenth-Century Chesapeake and Lowcountry, p. 655. UNC Press (Chapel Hill), 1998. Accessed 17 October 2013.
  30. ^ a b Smith, Jessie C. Black Firsts: 4,000 Ground-Breaking and Pioneering Historical Events (3rd ed.), pp. 1820–1821. "Methodists: 1781". Visible Ink Press (Canton), 2013. Accessed 17 October 2013.
  31. ^ Webb, Stephen H. "Introducing Black Harry Hoosier: The History Behind Indiana's Namesake". Indiana Magazine of History, Vol. XCVIII (March 2002). Trustees of Indiana University. Accessed 17 October 2013.
  32. ^ a b Albert J. Raboteau, Slave Religion: The 'Invisible Institution' in the Antebellum South, New York: Oxford University Press, 2004, p. 137, accessed 27 Dec 2008
  33. ^ Alan Brinkley, The Unfinished Nation, p 168
  34. ^ Lindley (1996), pp. 59–61.
  35. ^ Lindley (1996), pp. 61–62.
  36. ^ Ryan (1978), p. 614.
  37. ^ "Introduction" in What Was the Appeal of Moral Reform to Antebellum Northern Women, 1835–1841?, by Daniel Wright and Kathryn Kish Sklar. (Binghamton, NY: State University of New York at Binghamton, 1999).
  38. ^ Ryan (1978), p. 619.
  39. ^ Lindley (1996), pp. 62–63.
  40. ^ Barbara Welter, "The Feminization of American Religion: 1800–1860," in Clio's Consciousness Raised, edited by Mary S. Hartman and Lois Banner. New York: Octagon Books, 1976, 141
  41. ^ Barbara Leslie Epstein, The Politics of Domesticity. Middletown: Wesleyan University Press, 1981.
  42. ^ Alice Felt Tyler, Freedom's Ferment: Phases of American Social History from the Colonial Period to the Outbreak of the Civil War (1944).
  43. ^ Stephen Meardon, "From Religious Revivals to Tariff Rancor: Preaching Free Trade and Protection during the Second American Party System," History of Political Economy, Winter 2008 Supplement, Vol. 40, p. 265-298
  44. ^ Daniel Walker Howe, "The Evangelical Movement and Political Culture in the North During the Second Party System", The Journal of American History 77, no. 4 (March 1991), p. 1218 and 1237.

Further reading

  • Abzug, Robert H. Cosmos Crumbling: American Reform and the Religious Imagination (1994) (ISBN 0-195-04568-8)
  • Ahlstrom, Sydney. A Religious History of the American People (1972) (ISBN 0-385-11164-9)
  • Billington, Ray A. The Protestant Crusade. New York: The Macmillan Company, 1938.
  • Birdsall, Richard D. "The Second Great Awakening and the New England Social Order", Church History 39 (1970): 345–364. JSTOR 3163469.
  • Bratt, James D. "Religious Anti-revivalism in Antebellum America", Journal of the Early Republic (2004) 24(1): 65–106. ISSN 0275-1275. JSTOR 4141423.
  • Brown, Kenneth O. Holy Ground; a Study on the American Camp Meeting. Garland Publishing, Inc., (1992).
  • Brown, Kenneth O. Holy Ground, Too, the Camp Meeting Family Tree. Hazleton: Holiness Archives, (1997).
  • Bruce, Dickson D., Jr. And They All Sang Hallelujah: Plain Folk Camp-Meeting Religion, 1800–1845 (1974)
  • Butler, Jon. Awash in a Sea of Faith: Christianizing the American People. 1990.
  • Carwardine, Richard J. Evangelicals and Politics in Antebellum America. Yale University Press, 1993.
  • Carwardine, Richard J. "The Second Great Awakening in the Urban Centers: An Examination of Methodism and the 'New Measures'", Journal of American History 59 (1972): 327–340. JSTOR 1890193. doi:10.2307/1890193.
  • Cott, Nancy F. "Young Women in the Second Great Awakening in New England," Feminist Studies, (1975), 3#1 pp. 15–29. JSTOR 3518952. doi:10.2307/3518952
  • Cross, Whitney, R. The Burned-Over District: The Social and Intellectual History of Enthusiastic Religion in Western New York, 1800–1850, (1950).
  • Foster, Charles I. An Errand of Mercy: The Evangelical United Front, 1790–1837, (University of North Carolina Press, 1960)
  • Hambrick-Stowe, Charles. Charles G. Finney and the Spirit of American Evangelicalism. (1996).
  • Hankins, Barry. The Second Great Awakening and the Transcendentalists. Greenwood, 2004.
  • Hatch, Nathan O. The Democratization of American Christianity. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1989.
  • Heyrman, Christine Leigh. Southern Cross: The Beginnings of the Bible Belt (1997).
  • Johnson, Charles A. "The Frontier Camp Meeting: Contemporary and Historical Appraisals, 1805–1840", The Mississippi Valley Historical Review (1950) 37#1 pp. 91–110. JSTOR 1888756. doi:10.2307/1888756.
  • Kyle, I. Francis, III. An Uncommon Christian: James Brainerd Taylor, Forgotten Evangelist in America's Second Great Awakening (2008). See Uncommon Christian Ministries
  • Long, Kimberly Bracken. "The Communion Sermons of James Mcgready: Sacramental Theology and Scots-Irish Piety on the Kentucky Frontier", Journal of Presbyterian History, 2002 80(1): 3–16. ISSN 0022-3883. JSTOR 23336302.
  • Loveland Anne C. Southern Evangelicals and the Social Order, 1800–1860, (1980)
  • McLoughlin William G. Modern Revivalism, 1959.
  • McLoughlin William G. Revivals, Awakenings, and Reform: An Essay on Religion and Social Change in America, 1607–1977, 1978.
  • Marsden, George M. The Evangelical Mind and the New School Presbyterian Experience: A Case Study of Thought and Theology in Nineteenth-Century America (1970).
  • Meyer, Neil. "Falling for the Lord: Shame, Revivalism, and the Origins of the Second Great Awakening." Early American Studies 9.1 (2011): 142–166. JSTOR 23546634.
  • Posey, Walter Brownlow. The Baptist Church in the Lower Mississippi Valley, 1776–1845 (1957)
  • Posey, Walter Brownlow. Frontier Mission: A History of Religion West of the Southern Appalachians to 1861 (1966)
  • Raboteau, Albert. Slave Religion: The "invisible Institution' in the Antebellum South, (1979)
  • Roth, Randolph A. The Democratic Dilemma: Religion, Reform, and the Social Order in the Connecticut River Valley of Vermont, 1791–1850, (1987)
  • Smith, Timothy L. Revivalism and Social Reform: American Protestantism on the Eve of the Civil War (1957)

Historiography

  • Conforti, Joseph. "The Invention of the Great Awakening, 1795–1842". Early American Literature (1991): 99–118. JSTOR 25056853.
  • Griffin, Clifford S. "Religious Benevolence as Social Control, 1815–1860", The Mississippi Valley Historical Review, (1957) 44#3 pp. 423–444. JSTOR 1887019. doi:10.2307/1887019.
  • Mathews, Donald G. "The Second Great Awakening as an organizing process, 1780–1830: An hypothesis". American Quarterly (1969): 23–43. JSTOR 2710771. doi:10.2307/2710771.
  • Shiels, Richard D. "The Second Great Awakening in Connecticut: Critique of the Traditional Interpretation", Church History 49 (1980): 401–415. JSTOR 3164815.
  • Varel, David A. "The Historiography of the Second Great Awakening and the Problem of Historical Causation, 1945–2005". Madison Historical Review (2014) 8#4 online
Adventism

Adventism is a branch of Protestant Christianity which was started in the United States during the Second Great Awakening when Baptist preacher William Miller first publicly shared his belief that the Second Coming of Jesus Christ would occur at some point between 1843 and 1844.

The name refers to belief in the imminent Second Coming (or "Second Advent") of Jesus Christ. William Miller started the Adventist movement in the 1830s. His followers became known as Millerites. After the Great Disappointment, the Millerite movement split up and was continued by a number of groups that held different views from one another. These groups, stemming from a common Millerite ancestor, became known collectively as the Adventist movement.

Although the Adventist churches hold much in common, their theologies differ on whether the intermediate state of the dead is unconscious sleep or consciousness, whether the ultimate punishment of the wicked is annihilation or eternal torment, the nature of immortality, whether the wicked are resurrected after the millennium, and whether the sanctuary of Daniel 8 refers to the one in heaven or one on earth. The movement has encouraged the examination of the whole Bible, leading Seventh-day Adventists and some smaller Adventist groups to observe the Sabbath. The General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists has compiled that church's core beliefs in the 28 Fundamental Beliefs (1980 and 2005), which use Biblical references as justification.

In 2010, Adventism claimed some 22 million believers scattered in various independent churches. The largest church within the movement—the Seventh-day Adventist Church—had more than 19 million baptized members in 2015.

Burned-over district

The Burned-over District refers to the western and central regions of New York State in the early 19th century, where religious revivals and the formation of new religious movements of the Second Great Awakening took place, to such a great extent that spiritual fervor seemed to set the area on fire.The term was coined by Charles Grandison Finney, who in his 1876 book Autobiography of Charles G. Finney referred to a "burnt district" to denote an area in central and western New York State during the Second Great Awakening. "I found that region of country what, in the western phrase, would be called, a 'burnt district.' There had been, a few years previously, a wild excitement passing through that region, which they called a revival of religion, but which turned out to be spurious." ... "It was reported as having been a very extravagant excitement; and resulted in a reaction so extensive and profound, as to leave the impression on many minds that religion was a mere delusion. A great many men seemed to be settled in that conviction. Taking what they had seen as a specimen of a revival of religion, they felt justified in opposing anything looking toward the promoting of a revival." These spurious movements created feelings of apprehension towards the revivals in which Finney was influential.

In references where the religious revival is related to reform movements of the period, such as abolition, women's rights, and utopian social experiments, the region is expanded to include areas of central New York that were important to these movements. The historical study of the phenomena began with Whitney R. Cross, in 1951. However, Linda K. Pritchard uses statistical data to show that compared to the rest of New York State, the Ohio River Valley in the lower Midwest, and indeed the country as a whole, the religiosity of the Burned-over District was typical rather than exceptional.

Camp meeting

The camp meeting is a form of Protestant Christian religious service originating in England and Scotland as an evangelical event in association with the communion season. It was held for worship, preaching and communion on the American frontier during the Second Great Awakening of the early 19th century. Revivals and camp meetings continued to be held by various denominations, and in some areas of the mid-Atlantic, led to the development of seasonal cottages for meetings.

Originally camp meetings were held in frontier areas, where people without regular preachers would travel on occasion from a large region to a particular site to camp, pray, sing hymns, and listen to itinerant preachers at the tabernacle. Camp meetings offered community, often singing and other music, sometimes dancing, and diversion from work. The practice was a major component of the Second Great Awakening, an evangelical movement promoted by Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian and other preachers in the early 19th century. Certain denominations took the lead in different geographic areas.

Camp meetings today are often held annually at campgrounds owned by a Christian denomination.

Cane Ridge Revival

The Cane Ridge Revival was a large camp meeting that was held in Cane Ridge, Kentucky from August 6 to August 12 or 13, 1801. It has been described as the "[l]argest and most famous camp meeting of the Second Great Awakening." This camp meeting was arguably the pioneering event in the history of frontier camp meetings in America.

Charles Grandison Finney

Charles Grandison Finney (August 29, 1792 – August 16, 1875) was an American Presbyterian minister and leader in the Second Great Awakening in the United States. He has been called The Father of Modern Revivalism. Finney was best known as an innovative revivalist during the period 1825–1835 in upstate New York and Manhattan, an opponent of Old School Presbyterian theology, an advocate of Christian perfectionism, and a religious writer.

Together with several other evangelical leaders, his religious views led him to promote social reforms, such as abolition of slavery and equal education for women and African Americans. From 1835 he taught at Oberlin College of Ohio, which accepted students without regard to race or sex. He served as its second president from 1851 to 1866, during which its faculty and students were activists for abolition, the Underground Railroad, and universal education.

Christian revival

Revivalism is increased spiritual interest or renewal in the life of a church congregation or society, with a local, national or global effect. This should be distinguished from the use of the term "revival" to refer to an evangelistic meeting or series of meetings (see Revival meeting).

Revivals are seen as the restoration of the church itself to a vital and fervent relationship with God after a period of moral decline. Mass conversions of non-believers are viewed by church leaders as having positive moral effects.

Within Christian studies the concept of revival is derived from biblical narratives of national decline and restoration during the history of the Israelites. In particular, narrative accounts of the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah emphasise periods of national decline and revival associated with the rule of various righteous and wicked kings. Josiah is notable within this biblical narrative as a figure who reinstituted temple worship of Yahweh while destroying pagan worship. Within modern Church history, church historians have identified and debated the effects of various national revivals within the history of the USA and other countries. During the 18th and 19th centuries American society experienced a number of "Awakenings" around the years 1727, 1792, 1830, 1857 and 1882. More recent revivals in the 20th century include those of the 1904–1905 Welsh Revival, 1906 (Azusa Street Revival), 1930s (Balokole), 1970s (Jesus people), 1971 Bario Revival and 1909 Chile Revival which spread in the Americas, Africa, and Asia among Protestants and Catholics.

Cumberland Presbyterian Church

The Cumberland Presbyterian Church is a Presbyterian Christian denomination spawned by the Second Great Awakening. In 2015, it had 70,810 members and 709 congregations, of which 51 were located outside of the United States. The word Cumberland comes from the Cumberland River valley where the church was founded.

Fireball Ministry

Fireball Ministry is an American heavy metal band from Los Angeles, California formed in 1999.

Great Awakening

The Great Awakening refers to a number of periods of religious revival in American Christian history. Historians and theologians identify three or four waves of increased religious enthusiasm occurring between the early 18th century and the late 20th century. Each of these "Great Awakenings" was characterized by widespread revivals led by evangelical Protestant ministers, a sharp increase of interest in religion, a profound sense of conviction and redemption on the part of those affected, an increase in evangelical church membership, and the formation of new religious movements and denominations.

The Awakenings all resulted from powerful preaching that gave listeners a sense of personal guilt and of their need of salvation by Christ. Some of the influential people during the Great Awakening were George Whitfield, Jonathan Edwards, and Gilbert Tennent, and some of the influential groups during the Great Awakening were the New Lights and the Old Lights. Pulling away from ritual and ceremony, the Great Awakening made religion intensely personal to the average person by fostering a deep sense of spiritual conviction of personal sin and need for redemption, and by encouraging introspection and a commitment to a new standard of personal morality. It brought Christianity to African-American slaves and was an apocalyptic event in New England that challenged established authority. It incited rancor and division between old traditionalists who insisted on the continuing importance of ritual and doctrine, and the new revivalists, who encouraged emotional involvement and personal commitment. It had a major impact in reshaping the Congregational church, the Presbyterian church, the Dutch Reformed Church, and the German Reformed denomination, and strengthened the small Baptist and Methodist denominations. It had little impact on Anglicans and Quakers. Unlike the Second Great Awakening, which began about 1800 and reached out to the unchurched, the First Great Awakening focused on people who were already church members. It changed their rituals, their piety, and their self-awareness.

Harry Hosier

Harry Hosier (c. 1750–May 1806), better known during his life as "Black Harry", was an African American Methodist preacher during the Second Great Awakening in the early United States. Dr. Benjamin Rush said that, "making allowances for his illiteracy, he was the greatest orator in America". His style was widely influential but he was never formally ordained by the Methodist Episcopal Church or the Rev. Richard Allen's separate African Methodist Episcopal Church in Philadelphia.

History of the Latter Day Saint movement

The Latter Day Saint movement is a religious movement within Christianity that arose during the Second Great Awakening in the early 19th century and that led to the set of doctrines, practices, and cultures called Mormonism, and to the existence of numerous Latter Day Saint churches. Its history is characterized by intense controversy and persecution in reaction to some of the movement's doctrines and practices and their relationship to mainstream Christianity (see Mormonism and Christianity). The purpose of this article is to give an overview of the different groups, beliefs, and denominations that began with the influence of Joseph Smith.

The founder of the Latter Day Saint movement was Joseph Smith, who was raised in the burned-over district of Upstate New York, and claimed that, in response to prayer, he saw God the Father and Jesus Christ, as well as angels and other visions. This eventually led him to a restoration of Christian doctrine that, he said, was lost after the early Christian apostles were killed. In addition, several early leaders made marked doctrinal and leadership contributions to the movement, including Oliver Cowdery, Sidney Rigdon, and Brigham Young. Modern-day revelation from God continues to be a principal belief of the Mormon faith.

Mormon history as an academic field is called Mormon studies.

History of the United States (1789–1849)

George Washington, elected the first president in 1789, set up a cabinet form of government, with departments of State, Treasury, and War, along with an Attorney General (the Justice Department was created in 1870). Based in New York, the new government acted quickly to rebuild the nation's financial structure. Enacting the program of Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton, the government assumed the Revolutionary war debts of the states and the national government, and refinanced them with new federal bonds. It paid for the program through new tariffs and taxes; the tax on whiskey led to a revolt in the west; Washington raised an army and suppressed it. The nation adopted a Bill of Rights as 10 amendments to the new constitution. The Judiciary Act of 1789 established the entire federal judiciary, including the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court became important under the leadership of Chief Justice John Marshall (1801–1835), a federalist and nationalist who built a strong Supreme Court and strengthened the national government.

The 1790s were highly contentious, as the First Party System emerged in the contest between Hamilton and his Federalist party, and Thomas Jefferson and his Republican party. Washington and Hamilton were building a strong national government, with a broad financial base, and the support of merchants and financiers throughout the country. Jeffersonians opposed the new national Bank, the Navy, and federal taxes. The Federalists favored Britain, which was embattled in a series of wars with France. Jefferson's victory in 1800 opened the era of Jeffersonian democracy, and doomed the upper-crust Federalists to increasingly marginal roles.

The Louisiana Purchase from Napoleon in 1803 opened vast Western expanses of fertile land, which exactly met the needs of the rapidly expanding population of yeomen farmers whom Jefferson championed.

The Americans declared war on Britain (the War of 1812) to uphold American honor at sea, and to end the Indian raids in the west, as well as to seize Canadian territory. Despite incompetent government management, and a series of defeats early on, Americans found new generals like Andrew Jackson, William Henry Harrison, and Winfield Scott, who repulsed British invasions and broke the alliance between the British and the Indians that held up settlement of the Old Northwest. The Federalists, who had opposed the war to the point of trading with the enemy and threatening secession, were devastated by the triumphant ending of the war. The remaining Indians east of the Mississippi were kept on reservations or moved via the Trail of Tears to reservations in what later became Oklahoma.

The spread of democracy opened the ballot box to nearly all white men, allowing the Jacksonian democracy to dominate politics during the Second Party System. Whigs, representing wealthier planters, merchants, financiers, and professionals, wanted to modernize the society, using tariffs and federally funded internal improvements; they were blocked by the Jacksonians, who closed down the national Bank in the 1830s. The Jacksonians wanted expansion—that is "Manifest Destiny"—into new lands that would be occupied by farmers and planters. Thanks to the annexation of Texas, the defeat of Mexico in war, and a compromise with Britain, the western third of the nation rounded out the continental United States by 1848.

Howe (2007) argues that the transformation America underwent was not so much political democratization but rather the explosive growth of technologies and networks of infrastructure and communication—the telegraph, railroads, the post office, and an expanding print industry. They made possible the religious revivals of the Second Great Awakening, the expansion of education and social reform. They modernized party politics and sped up business by enabling the fast, efficient movement of goods, money, and people across an expanding nation. They transformed a loose-knit collection of parochial agricultural communities into a powerful cosmopolitan nation. Economic modernization proceeded rapidly, thanks to highly profitable cotton crops in the South, new textile and machine-making industries in the Northeast, and a fast developing transportation infrastructure.

During 1791 and 1838, 13 new states were formed. The nation's first capital was in New York City. The home state of Andrew Jackson is South Carolina.

Breaking loose from European models, the Americans developed their own high culture, notably in literature and in higher education. The Second Great Awakening brought revivals across the country, forming new denominations and greatly increasing church membership, especially among Methodists and Baptists. By the 1840s increasing numbers of immigrants were arriving from Europe, especially British, Irish, and Germans. Many settled in the cities, which were starting to emerge as a major factor in the economy and society. The Whigs had warned that annexation of Texas would lead to a crisis over slavery, and they were proven right by the turmoil of the 1850s that led to the Civil War.

Holiness movement

The Holiness movement involves a set of beliefs and practices which emerged within 19th-century Methodism. A number of Evangelical Christian denominations, parachurch organizations, and movements emphasize those beliefs as central doctrine. The movement is Wesleyan-Arminian in theology, and is defined by its emphasis on John Wesley's doctrine of a second work of grace leading to Christian perfection. As of 2015 Holiness-movement churches had an estimated 12 million adherents.

James McGready

Rev. James McGready (1763–1817) was a Presbyterian minister and a revivalist during the Second Great Awakening in the United States of America. He was one of the most important figures of the Second Great Awakening in the American frontier.

James O'Kelly

James O'Kelly (born 1735; died October 16, 1826 in Chatham County, North Carolina) was an American clergyman during the Second Great Awakening and an important figure in the early history of Methodism in America. He was also known for his outspoken views on abolitionism, penning the strong antislavery work, Essay on Negro Slavery. Appointed as a Methodist circuit rider in 1777, he organized preaching circuits on the frontier in central and southeastern North Carolina during the American Revolutionary War. He continued his affiliation with the Methodist Episcopal Church from its formal organization in 1784 at the Christmas Conference, when he was ordained an elder. Well regarded as a preacher, he successfully supervised pastors in several regions of Virginia and North Carolina.

O'Kelly, who favored the congregationalist system of church polity, came to oppose the church's system of centralized episcopal authority, which he believed infringed on the freedom of preachers. At the 1792 General Conference of the Methodist Church, he introduced a resolution to allow clergy to appeal to the Conference if they believed their assignments from the bishop to be unsatisfactory. After several days of debate, the resolution was defeated.

In protest, O'Kelly withdrew from the denomination and with his supporters founded the Republican Methodist Church, later known simply as the Christian Church, or "Connection". The O'Kelly-led schism is recognized as the first schism of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Some of its members also became involved in the related Stone-Campbell movement. O'Kelly later published his position in a tract entitled The Author's Apology for Protesting against the Methodist Episcopal Government (1798). In this piece O'Kelly claims that the Methodist Bishops Francis Asbury and Thomas Coke were not elected to the episcopacy by the Conference. O'Kelly is answered in 1800 by Nicholas Snethen. Snethen accuses O'Kelly of propagating "notorious falsehoods." O'Kelly, not one to let the argument rest, responds with his A Vindication of an Apology.

The Christian Connection or Christian Church, as it was later more commonly known, merged with the Congregational churches in 1931 to form the Congregational Christian Churches. In 1957, a majority of churches from this association merged with the Evangelical and Reformed Church, developed by German Americans from their historic immigrant traditions, to form the present United Church of Christ.O'Kelly's Chapel was built about 1900 and named after Rev. James O'Kelly. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1985.

Nathaniel William Taylor

Nathaniel William Taylor (June 23, 1786– March 10, 1858) was an influential Protestant Theologian of the early 19th century, whose major contribution to the Christian faith (and to American religious history), known as the New Haven theology or Taylorism, was to line up historical Calvinism with the religious revivalism of the time (The Second Great Awakening). A graduate of Yale College, he returned to found the school's first independent division, the Theological Department, an institution which later became the Yale Divinity School.

Outline of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The following outline is provided as an overview of and a topical guide to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the LDS Church or, informally, the Mormon Church) is a Christian restorationist church that is considered by its followers to be the restoration of the original church founded by Jesus Christ. The church is headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, and has established congregations (called wards or branches) and built temples worldwide. It is the largest denomination in the Latter Day Saint movement founded by Joseph Smith during the period of religious revival known as the Second Great Awakening.

Restorationism

Restorationism, also described as Christian primitivism, is the belief that Christianity has been or should be restored along the lines of what is known about the apostolic early church, which restorationists see as the search for a purer and more ancient form of the religion. Fundamentally, "this vision seeks to correct faults or deficiencies (in the church) by appealing to the primitive church as a normative model."Efforts to restore an earlier, purer form of Christianity are often a response to denominationalism. As Rubel Shelly put it, the "motive behind all restoration movements is to tear down the walls of separation by a return to the practice of the original, essential and universal features of the Christian religion." Different groups have tried to implement the restorationist vision in a variety of ways; for instance, some have focused on the structure and practice of the church, others on the ethical life of the church, and others on the direct experience of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer. The relative importance given to the restoration ideal, and the extent to which the full restoration of the early church is believed to have been achieved, also varies among groups.

In comparable terms, earlier primitivist movements, including the Hussites, Anabaptists, Landmarkists, Puritans, and Waldensians have been described as examples of restorationism, as have many seventh-day Sabbatarians. For Anabaptists, restoration primarily meant to relive in a studied fashion the life of the New Testament. Landmarkism (often identified with Baptist Successionism) is more properly a theory of the continuation of the pure Church through the centuries, recognizable by certain key doctrines, primarily believer's baptism. Many groups have attempted a history of their movement and an ecclesiology that falls somewhere in between the two ideas of Restorationism and Successionism.

The term "restorationism" is sometimes used more specifically as a synonym for the American Restoration Movement. The term is also used by more recent groups, describing their goal to re-establish Christianity in its original form, such as some anti-denominational Charismatic Restorationists, which arose in the 1970s in the United Kingdom and elsewhere.

What Wondrous Love Is This

"What Wondrous Love Is This" (often just referred to as "Wondrous Love") is a Christian folk hymn, sometimes described as a "white spiritual", from the American South. Its text was first published in 1811, during the Second Great Awakening, and its melody derived from a popular English ballad. Today it is a widely known hymn included in hymnals of many Christian denominations.

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