Second Great Awakening

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The Second Great Awakening was a Protestant religious movement in the United States. It began around 1790. Membership rose among Baptist and Methodist congregations, whose preachers led the movement. It was past its peak by the late 1850s.

It was led by people such as Charles Grandison Finney, Henry Ward Beecher, Lyman Beecher, Edward Everett and Joseph Smith. It started in upstate New York, but spread to New England and the Midwest.[1] During the Second Great Awakening, thousands of people gathered at large religious meetings called revivals. The people of the Second Great Awakening thought they could bring about a Golden Age in America through religion. The Second Great Awakening led to new religious movements such as the Holiness Movement and the Mormons, and helped groups like the Methodist Church grow.[2]

The Second Great Awakening led to two movements in reform, that is, changing laws and behaviors to make society better.[3] One of these was the Temperance Movement, which believed that drinking alcohol was not good for society. The other was abolitionism, which wanted to end slavery. People such as Harriet Beecher Stowe and William Lloyd Garrison wrote books and newspapers about how slavery should stop. They formed political movements, including the Liberty Party, the Free Soil Party and the Republican Party (United States).

References[change | change source]

  1. Foner, Eric (2006). Give Me Liberty!: An American history. 1 (1st ed.). New York: W.W. Norton. p. 293. ISBN 0393927822. 
  2. Foner, Eric (2006). Give Me Liberty!: An American history. 1 (1st ed.). p. 294. ISBN 0393927822. 
  3. Tyler, Alice Felt (1962). Freedom's Ferment: Phases of American Social History from the Colonial Period to the Outbreak of the Civil War. Harper and Row.