Essay On The Second Great Awakening

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Although in some ways the religious revivals that had begun in the 1740s never really dissipated during the Revolutionary War (1775-83), many historians identify a second wave of evangelicalism that began in the 1790s. This Second Great Awakening, as it is called, swept across the United States and transformed the country's religious and social landscape. The revival reflected tremendous faith in an individual's ability to affect his or her own salvation. In an age when the clarion call for equality gained in strength, suddenly every man was equal before God. All a person had to do, many revivalists declared, was open his or her heart to Jesus, and the individual would be saved. Harsh Calvinism was shunted aside, and learned ministers were…show more content…
It was also at this time that many African-American slaves became Christians, responding to the evangelical currents swirling about them. Denominations such as the Methodists and Baptists swelled in numbers, quickly becoming the predominant religious groups in many sections of the nation. Later in the 19th century, new denominations, including the Mormons and the Church of Christ, appeared. The call for self-discipline also helped to encourage a host of reform movements in the United States. With the emphasis on an individual's personal relationship with God, the need to spread the gospel led to Bible and Sunday school societies. In turn, other groups emerged to help the poor and disadvantaged and to reform society. While these reform movements gained their fullest expression in the 1830s and 1840s, they began in the opening decades of the 19th century. Ultimately, however, the greatest impact of the revival was the further impetus it gave to the developing central creed of the American nation, making it increasingly difficult to sustain social distinctions and oppose the rise of
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