What is the summary of The Second Great Awakening?


Quick Answer

The Second Great Awakening was a period of religious revival in the United States between 1790 and 1830 in which the Methodist and Baptist denominations grew significantly. During the Second Great Awakening, enthusiastic revivals and camp meetings were held throughout the country, with millions of people converting to evangelical denominations or forming new Christian denominations.

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Full Answer

The Second Great Awakening began in upstate New York and spread southward from there, taking root especially in Kentucky, Tennessee and Ohio, which then constituted the U.S. frontier. The movement had a populist tone, with people seeing themselves as spiritual equals to their pastors or preachers, and preachers were deemed worthy based on their fiery rhetoric rather than their academic credentials. Women and African-Americans were especially involved in the revivals, with far greater numbers of converts than there were of white men; ultimately this led to women and African-Americans being more involved in their churches. Several new denominations were formed during this period, including the Seventh-Day Adventists, the Church of Christ, the Disciples of Christ and the African Methodist Episcopal Church. The Second Great Awakening revivals emphasized the role of the church in preaching salvation and purifying society. Through these revivals, the seeds were sown for what would become the temperance and abolitionist movements.

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