Religion in America During the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century

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Compared to the seventeenth century, religion in America changed drastically in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. In the seventeenth century, religion was rigid and tenacious. By the eighteenth and nineteenth century, you can see that religion becomes more liberal and individualistic. This can be credited to the Second Great Awakening, which was much more widespread and influential than it’s first counterpart. Religion was still very much a part of the average American’s life in the late eighteenth century, with three-quarters of America attending church on a regular basis. Despite this fact, some people became indifferent to the ossified traditions of the old church. Strict Calvinist beliefs and conventions slowly seeped out of the church and were replaced with more permissive ideas. Deism was a school of thought that gained much popularity in this time period. Inverse to Puritan and Calvinist faith, deism favored science over the bible, something that would have been shunned a century before. They refused to accept Jesus’s divinity, but acknowledged a transcendent entity that created the known universe. This entity trusted the morality of man to keep the world from becoming unglued. Deism led to the creation of Unitarianism, one of the new religions during this time period. Unitarianists believed that God manifested himself in only one person instead of the orthodox Holy Trinity (God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit). Unitarianism stressed free will contrastly to predestination and put weight on human goodness instead repugnance. The Second Great Awakening was the result of these changing creeds. The Second Great Awakening essentially revitalized religion in America. Masses of sometimes 25,000 people would gather too repent their sins under an zealous preacher for several days. These events were called “camp meetings.” The Second Great

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