The first half of the nineteenth century saw the emergence of new forms of religion in America. A byproduct of the Enlightenment, Deists were skeptical of Christianity, miracles, and the divinity of Jesus.Unitarianism is the belief that Jesus was not divine but just a good person, while Universalism proclaimed salvation for all people, not just a chosen few.
It was in the midst of these transformations of Protestantism that the Second Great Awakening occurred in the United States. In an attempt to stave off the rise of secularism, preachers traveled across the nation leading revivals. In many instances, the westward movement of settlers outpaced the speed at which churches could be built and clergy could be found to lead services. As a result, circuit preachers hosted revivals and camp meetings to reach pioneers. Revival fires in western New York were to have set so many people on fire for the Lord, that the area was labeled the “burned-over district.” The most successful of these evangelical preachers was Charles Finney, who coverted over 100,000.
Transcendentalism is a belief that things that cannot be proven by science are justified by faith and that living things hold within them a spark of divinity. One of the greatest writers of the Romantic era, Emerson promoted individualism and independence. He served as a mentor to Thoreau, whose essay “Civil Disobedience” offered inspiration to Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mahtma Gandhi in the twentieth century.
The nineteenth century saw the publication of what are now considered American classics. Hawthorne, Melville, Whitman, Dickinson, and Poe all wrote during this time. In the mid-1800s, steam technology was applied to the newspaper press, increasing the capacity to print papers by a factor of five. The mass production of newspapers drove the price down to a penny, and papers soon became a popular form of entertainment.
Until the 1830s, public schooling was unheard of. If a family wanted its children educated, they sent them to a private school, arranged for a tutor, or home schooled. This would change mid-century, and the first public schools were created in the north. Colleges had existed in the New World since the founding of the colonies, but because they were usually associated with a religious denomination, they received no public funds.
The temperance movement wanted to ban the consumption of alcohol in all forms in the United States. Their work culminated in the passage of the Eighteenth Amendment in 1918. Asylums and prisons were originally created to house people deemed unfit to exist in society, but in the 1800s, they became places of rehabilitation, reflecting the Romanticism of the day. Dorthea Dix is credited with starting this reform through her two-year investigation of jails and asylums in Massachusetts.
The status of women in the 1800s remained much like it had in the colonial era. They were mainly relegated to working at home and had no legal control over themselves or their property. This time period saw the emergence of the women’s movement, led by Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Although they would not live to see many victories, they laid the foundation for the progressive changes enjoyed by late-twentieth-century women. Between 1800 and 1900, over 100 utopian communities would be founded, made up of individuals wishing to create a perfect society. Such communities did not last long and for the most part, disappeared.
His 121 chapter 13 religion, romanticism and reform
RELIGION,ROMANTICISM ANDREFORMChapter 13
Rational Religion Deism Unitarianism and Universalism Methodism Movement began in Anglican Church in Englandand spread to U.S. Moved away from Calvinist predestination to anevangelical notion that God wanted all people tobe saved Became the largest Protestant denomination by1860