1) Why haven't many U.S. historians focused on the Second Great Awakening and the Age of Reform as the overview suggests?
2) Is there any relevant information known about Roman Catholics living in the United States at this time? Were they still being discriminated against by other Christian denominations?
3) Some people during the Second Great Awakening felt that perfection was attainable. If that was possible, wouldn't human beings be considered equals of God?
4) What role, if any, did children play in being born-again?
5) Was racism and segregation considered a sin at this time?
6) Where in the United States did the Second Great Awakening occur?
- Perry Miller suggests that an “evangelical basis” was one of the defining characteristics of the Second Great Awakening in American history. The overview talks about citizens flocking to “already established congregations,” and either reforming, redefining, or expanding on existing organizations. My question is, why now? Where there other cultural events that contributed to this push toward religion? What prompted Americans to return to their faith with such renewed vigor?
- After Finney had visited a town and engaged the people in one of his revivals, he “exhorted them to join a church.” What I found interesting was that “Finney did not seek to get them to join his own denomination.” What repercussions did Finney’s religious revivals have on the churches who suddenly gained new members, or whose members were suddenly making new demands of the minister?
1.) In a century plagued by the issue of slavery, wouldn't Evangilicalism help the fight against the immoral institution (slavery)? (I would be interested in learning about the relation between Evangicalism and Slavery). The overview states that reform meant the eradicating the sin of slavery (among others).
2.) The overview affirms that Finney encouraged his reformers to join a church, not necessarily his. What denominations did the people usually go to? According to the overview, "the Awakening could have unpredictable effects on established congregations."
- One question, or just point of interest, would be that those people who were reforming themselves due to the second great awakening were the very ones who were calling for more militant means to combating slavery and intemperance. The whole Evangelist reform movement emphasized confrontation also. Why is it that the seemingly most devout members of society historically turn to violence? (other examples would include the crusades, Ku Klux Klan, etc.)
- Also, it became evident throughout the reading that the Evangelists emphasized individual responsibility and the ability of individuals to reform their sin. Thus it makes sense that they were agree with the Jeffersonian and Jacksonian liberalism that stressed the importance of individual accountability. However, why would the Evangelists disagree with the libertarian idea that neither the government nor anyone else should interfere with individual behavior unless it conflicts with the individual liberty of another person? Wouldn’t the Evangelists agree that the individual would be solely responsible for their behavior? Or did they believe that certain checks must be in place to ensure the individuals are being good Christians or citizens?
The idea of perfectionism really interested me and why it would be so important to American people?
How widespread was the Second Great Awakening, in geographic terms?
How did the Second Great Awakening affect the political landscape (new laws, party politics, etc.) of antebellum America? This will help further deepen understanding of how much the movement really affected American history.