Pgs. 224 - 228 The Second Great Awakening The 18th Century belief that God determined one’s salvation or damnation was thrown out. Emphasis on individual responsibility for seeking salvation and insisted that people could improve themselves and society. Held revival meetings where audiences of 25,000 or more would attend. Charles Grandison Finney inspired and preached at revivals. Revivalism Revivals were religious gatherings designed to awaken religious faith through impassioned preaching. Could last a week or more. Day: study Bible and examine souls Night: heard emotional preaching that could make them cry out, burst into tears, or tremble with fear. Even got into the frontier... Not just an upperclass city movement. New York had the most well known revivals. Brought more people to the church The Unitarian Movement Faith in the individual Didn’t agree with revivals for public emotionalism Emphasized reason and appeals to conscience as paths to perfection. Attracted a wealthy and educated following. Believed conversion was a gradual process …not something that could happen overnight. Felt individual and social reform were both possible and important. The African-American Church Slaveholders feared that enslaved African Americans might use the message of individual salvation to attack slavery. Slaves in the rural South were allowed to worship in the same churches as whites. In the East many freed African Americans attended their own Churches. Richard Allen’s Bethel African Church in Philadelphia Center for abolitionist meetings. Provided schools and other services denied to blacks. Transcendentalism Ralph Waldo Emerson Stressed people should develop unique and emotional forms of expression. Developed a belief in transcendentalism – philosophical and literary movement that emphasized living a simple life and celebrated the truth found in nature and in personal emotion and imagination, rather than in any organized system of belief. Fought for humanitarian reforms such as the abolition of slavery and improved conditions in prisons. Spawned a literary movement that stressed American ideals of optimism, freedom, and self-reliance. Henry David Thoreau – Emerson's friend who put self- reliance into practice. Improving Education Before the 1850’s, no uniform educational policy School attendance was not mandatory Classrooms were not divided by grade Few children continued education after the age of 10. In 1830’s Americans began to demand tax-supported public schools. Rich parents who sent their children to private schools protested because they didn’t see why they had to pay for two schools. By the 1850’s, every state had provided for a system of public elementary schools. Reforming Asylums and Prisons Dorothea Dix was a social reformer. She was visiting a Massachusetts house of correction and noticed that jails housed mentally ill people. “chained, naked, beaten with rods, and lashed into obedience” 1843 sent a letter of her findings to the Massachusetts legislature which passed a law aimed at improving conditions. 1845-1852 Dix persuaded 9 Southern states to set up public hospitals for the mentally ill. Reforming Asylums and Prisons French writer Alexis de Tocqueville visited the United States in 1831. Wanted to observe its prison system. Found that it was so antiquated and that prisoners were beaten and punished. Said that even though the United States was advanced government wise…it was antiquated in their prisons. Americans Form Utopian Communities Utopian communities – a perfect place that shared common goals such as self-sufficiency. Didn’t work because couldn’t agree on one specific goal.