Comparing The Market Revolution And The Second Great Awakening

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The Market Revolution and the Second Great Awakening both dramatically shaped the individual stories of Elijah Pierson and Robert Matthews. When the Market Revolution brought Elijah from New Jersey to New York, his life was a lot different than what he was used to. Elijah had come from a town where everyone attended church and where social hierarchy was unproblematic. At a young age he learned that “God had placed men and women into families and social ranks, then governed their destinies according to his inscrutable Providence” (15). However, when he moved to New York, few people attended church and homelessness was seen all over the streets. He “struggled to stake out the social and emotional ground between the thoughtless rich and the vicious poor” (19). …show more content…

He was able to get a wife, a job, and develop a strong passion for Christianity. Also, when Elijah moved he “found himself immersed in the new evangelicalism” (21). His wife, Sarah, played a big role in attracting him to this new religion. Her face “radiated sincerity and Christian love, and she carried herself with a sureness that came from faith in God” (26). Shortly before he married her, Elijah left his church and joined Sarah’s congregation. This was a huge change in his life because it meant that he was moving from a Presbyterian church with family ties to a Baptist church to join his wife. After attending the church for many years, Sarah began going to prayer meetings led by Francis Folger and Elijah followed her there as well. This caused them to become very involved in the Retrenchment Society. There were many instances of Elijah questioning his religion. Both the Market Revolution and the Second Great Awakening allowed him to succeed religiously and

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