The Second Great Awakening

The Second Great Awakening was a Protestant Revival Movement from the 1790s to the1840s. It was a shift from the view that God predetermined your fate and you couldn’t do anything about it, like the Calvanists believed, to a view that the individual had the ability to change their circumstances and fate. The belief that individual piety was more important than formal religious training was also a strong focal point of the Second Great Awakening. Protestant sects became more divided and prominent as evangelical Protestantism became the nation’s predominant religion. Revivals were also an important part of the Second Great Awakening and the conversion of people to the Prtestant faith. Preachers and religious superiors preached with emotion and the church body responded in an emotional, almost chaotic way.

           This shift in religious thought translated into other aspects of life. Individual power and free will came to the forefront and these beliefs were applied to political and cultural life. Women took these beliefs, as well as ideas of equality and freedom, and used them as platforms for a better political standing. These beliefs also strengthened the abolitionist and temperance movements.

           The ideas and beliefs about individual piety, power of personal fate, and freewill that were discussed and implemented during the Second Great Awakening inspired more reforms to come.

In 1839 J. Maze Burbank exhibit painted "a camp meeting, or religious revival in America, from a sketch taken on the spot." It is not known where, when, or under whose auspices the revival painted by Burbank occurred.

The early Adventist Church emerged from a climate of religious revival in the Northeastern United States. Camp meetings, such as this Millerite gathering, were a hallmark of the Second Great Awakening.

This historian, Thomas Hampson, analysis talks about the music and the drama that were required and created for the second great awakening to be successful.

Second Great Awakening was started due to changes in the economic situation - the shift from the small shop to the factory system meant a lot of people were feeling a big disconnect from their previous situation. Economically, they had no control, and found that the only place they had control was over their religious life - they had no control over this life, but they could over the next.

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