Influence Of The Second Great Awakening

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In the early 1800s the sudden onset of the Second Great Awakening influenced many reform movements, inspiring people to seek personal salvation and improve their lives as well as the lives of those they considered less fortunate. The Second Great Awakening launched a variety of reform movements across the country in an attempt to perfect the democratic society. Americans who participated in the Second Great Awakening considered America “youthful” and thought that they could perfect their surroundings and help those in need. The Awakening called on followers to prove their faith by helping those less fortunate than themselves by spreading their ideals. Two examples of the widespread influence of the Second Great Awakening are the creation of utopian societies and the temperance movement. During the Awakening utopian societies appeared throughout the country. These reformers sought a idealistic world, free from all social evils. Some of these societies wanted an alternative to a world they considered immoral or wanted to reject the middle-class ideals of family. Conversions to faiths like the Shakers peaked during the Second Great Awakening. Over one hundred utopian communities were founded during this time. While some were secular, they were all influenced by the Awakening. The Awakening promoted the spread of religion and perfecting society. The common goal among the utopian societies was to “spread righteousness upon the earth” and to perfect any perceived flaws in society. The Awakening gave inspiration and vision to the communities, which aided them in their search for a perfect society. Most utopian communities did not last beyond the early 1850s, but, the Oneida community survived from 1848 to 1881. Another popular movement in the 1800s that was greatly influenced by the Second Awakening was the temperance movement. During the 19th century America’s
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