R​‌‍‍‍‌‍‍‍‌‍‍‍‌‌‌‌‌‌‍‍​eligion has played a major role in American society since 1619. Consider the Second Great Awakening and transcendentalism; in what ways did they reflect antebellum society’s concerns? What was the Second Great Awakening’s influence on abolition, women’s status, and the poor? INTRO: Introductory Remarks: The Second Great Awakening (1795-1835) appeared at the same time as immigration is on the rise, and the move westward is beginning. Women, the poor and slaves were very receptive the message. 

They all helped give groundswell to the awakening. Of all the groups, the important place of blacks should be emphasized. Here’s an interesting quote from David Blight, a historian, to consider about the Great Awakening: “…There had never been anything like it. Here’s a meeting of 3,000 people out in a field, blacks and whites together, listening to a preacher who says, ‘Here in my message is a new life for you, here’s a new chance for you. Here’s a God who had your interest at hea​‌‍‍‍‌‍‍‍‌‍‍‍‌‌‌‌‌‌‍‍​rt. Here’s a God who may deliver you.’ ” (retrieved from https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part2/2narr2.html (Links to an external site.) ) Preachers also spoke to a large number of women as well. This certainly served as a kind of bridge between the races.

 America was grappling with a number of new trends and developments: a rapidly growing population, rise of participatory democracy, and western expansion and the question of slavery. These trends seem connected to reason and the Enlightenment prophesies. At the same time, transcendentalism was a philosophical and literary movement that stressed on living a simple life and internal truth. Then along came the Second Great Awakening. It was a religious movement that focused on individual responsibilities in working toward salvation. Like transcendentalism, it was part of the Romantic era of culture, which emphasized emotion. As you are reading consider what this change can tell us about the ideas, fears, and dreams for society in the ni​‌‍‍‍‌‍‍‍‌‍‍‍‌‌‌‌‌‌‍‍​neteenth century.



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