Second Great Awakening - East Bridgewater Public Schools

Second Great Awakening and the Social Reform Movement
Men are so sluggish, there are so many things
to lead their minds off from religion …that it is necessary
to raise an excitement among them . . . –Charles Grandison Finney
The Second Great Awakening took place in the early nineteenth century. In addition to
inspiring transcendentalist American literature, it also encouraged an eager evangelical attitude
that manifested itself in a variety of social reform movements: prison, temperance, women's
suffrage, and abolition. Here are a few resources—both print and electronic—to get you started.
Please ask Mrs. Tucker or Mrs. Love for help if you would like more direction.
Electronic Resources—Internet
The internet has tons of information about nearly every subject. Be smart about gathering
information from worthwhile sites. Who created the site? Does that person know enough on the
subject to be an authority? Is the site up-to-date? Is the information on the site objective, or
was it selected to sway your opinion? Sometimes it is hard to tell. Here are a few sites to get you
started as you study the Second Great Awakening and the social reform movement.
Digital History
 Best site!
Click around. This site gives a pretty good secondary source overview of what the Second Great
Awakening was all about in a general sense. A useful starting point. Conflict of Abolition and Slavery
Plenty of primary sources—posters, maps, songs, writings—that document our nation’s gradual push
toward freedom for slaves. From the US Library of Congress—a great source.
Religion and the New Republic
A companion site to Library of Congress’ Abolition and slavery link (above), this site is a very good
source for information about the camp meetings that became popular during this period. Second Great Awakening
Although this site focuses on Ohio—it is from the Ohio Historical Society—it gives one of the best
overviews I have seen.
Temperance Songs
For another kind of fun primary source, check out these songs the (mostly) women of the
Temperance Movement sang outside the saloons. From Assumption College.
Print Resources
We have books on the Second Great Awakening and social reform of the time, but this one in
particular is worth a close look:
The Second Great Awakening and the Transcendentalists by Barry Hankins 277 HAN
This book briefly summarizes the events, ideas and influence of the time and serves as a detailed
resource that is easy for high school students to understand.
You can use our online catalog to look up other library materials at school, home, or anywhere you
have internet access. You don’t need your library card to do it. With the card, you can look up a
book, have a book sent to EBHS for you, renew your materials, read or print articles from
thousands of magazines and newspapers, and more. We belong to a network of libraries that shares
How do I do that?
It’s easy. If you can perform a decent Google search, you can pull this off. Here goes:
2. User id is the number on your card—with no spaces. PIN is 9999.
3. click login
You’re in. Remember to select ‘East Bridgewater High School’ to see what’s in our collection (or ‘all
libraries’ if you want to search the whole network).
East Bridgewater High School Library
Links working as of September 9, 2008