Second Great Awakening Essay

1360 words - 6 pages

The Second Great Awakening was significant because reform movements were connected with religion. Most of reform movements were in fact influenced by the religious ideas expressed during the Great Awakening. Religious congregations and sermons challenged the true faith of people, and as a result different religious groups emerged in order to purify the society. With the ongoing religious revivals, different group of people also began to question the governing norms, which contradicted with religious teachings. In David Walker’s, “African American Abolitionist David Walker Castigates the United States for Its Slave System, 1829,” Walker also raised the question of African slavery, and how it ...view middle of the document...

As a result, women were perceived as righteous and upright with artistic sensibility. With the support of church, women begin taking part in public role. They got involved in religious activities such as helping sinners to repent, “giving testimonials regarding their conversion, and providing many women with common identity.” With the exposure to the outer world, some women learned leadership skills and finally started fighting for their own political rights. They got more involved by joining women’s club, going to library and through writing. In “Angelina Grimke Appeals to Christian Women to Oppose Slaver, 1836,” Grimke also tried to make women realize of their roles and rights through her writing. Grimke said:
I know you do not make the laws, but I also know that you are the wives and mothers, the sisters and daughters of those who do; and if you really suppose you can do nothing to overthrow slavery, you are greatly mistaken. You can do much in every way: four things I will name. 1st. You can read on this subject. 2d. You can pray over this subject. 3d. You can speak on this subject. 4th. You can act on this subject.
Although some women started recognizing their rights, others were still bound to the idea of “Cult of Domesticity.” Religious movements also brought along the idea of “Republican Motherhood.” Republican Mother was the depiction of an ideal woman, who devotes herself to her family. Republican Women were primary educator for their children, a source of comfort for their husbands, and an ideal of femininity. In “Seneca Falls Convention Declares Women’s Rights, 1848,” an image of Republic Mother was illustrated. According to one of the laws, “He has endeavored, in every way that he could to destroy her confidence in her own powers, to lessen her self-respect, and to make her willing to a dependent and abject life. [And] He has denied her the facilities of obtaining education.” In this way, lack of education and exposure confined the lives of Republican Mothers by inhibiting their freedom. In this wasy, Second Great Awakening gave some women a motive to fight for their rights, while subjugated others to men supremacy.
American Reformers contributed a significant role in both controlling and improving American society. A group of American reformers were fighting for Humanitarian rights. They were trying to perfect human institutions and ideas. These reformers were also trying to enhance the position of the United States relative to the other countries in the world — to be more individualistic, powerful, and prosperous. Some of the reforms included abolition against slavery and alcohol, access to education, and creating sanitary asylums. In, “Reformer Dorothea Dix Depicts the Horrible Conditions Endured by the Mentally Ill,1843,” Dix also begged to improve the living and physical conditions of these asylums and prisons. Dix said:
Men of Massachusetts, I beg, I implore, I demand, pity and protection, for these of my suffering,...

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