The Second a Great Awakening

The Second Great Awakening was a Protestant revival movement of the early 19th century, reaching the height of its popularity in the 1820s. It was created as a retaliation against a recent wave of deism and skepticism, so that the Protestant churches could bolster their numbers in their now-famous evangelical preaching style. The main topic the Protestants focused on was the anticipated second coming of Christ, which they used to sway skeptics in their favor. However, the movement, though rooted in religion, wasn't limited to religion: it also gave white women and African-Americans more freedom than they previously had. The Second Great Awakening's greatest impact on America was setting into motion a domino effect of religious movements, shaping America into the largely Protestant nation it is today.

This painting shows a Methodist camp meeting in 1839. Methodist and Baptist preachers made enormous gains, and church congregations rose significantly in comparison to that of other religious denominations in the Americas. Many new denominations sprouted up in the Second Great Awakening, and converts were predominantly female and young people.

"If you will turn away from sinIn childhood's early day,
The Lord will make you pure within,
And take your guilt away." -The Infant Christian, 1850

This excerpt from a children's story exemplifies the thinking of the Second Great Awakening. Their entire lives were centered around the pursuit of holiness. This poem is a part of that school of thought. It encourages children to follow the word of god and stay away from sin so they can be pure.

The Great Disappointment was a major event as part of the Second Great Awakening. William Miller, a Baptist preacher, predicted that Jesus Christ would return in 1844 and "then shall the sanctuary be cleansed." He believed that this cleansing represented the purification of Earth by fire. This cartoon depicts a Millerite in preparation for Christ's second coming, making fun of his naivety. He sit inside "The Salamander Safe" which is labeled with Patent Fire-proof Chest to survive the flames of Christ's return, and sits snug surrounded by crackers, cheese, ham, and a book marked "Miller." This cartoon shows the absurdity and stupidity of the religious sheep who were incited by the Second Great Awakening. It was likely made by a progressive advocate for deism, skepticism, and rationalism, which ideas the Second Great Awakening was in response to.

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