Second Great Awakening's Impact On Abolitionism In The North

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The Second Great Awakening’s Impact on Abolitionism in the North The Second Great Awakening during the late 18th and 19th centuries sparked many reform movements in the United States. The new enlightenment age fostered scientific thought that often challenged traditional Christian practices. Principles of “Deism” and “Unitarianism” were religious philosophies that focused on free will, reason, and science. Thus, less literal biblical interpretations began to arise during this period. These new behaviors worried many preachers, so they began to reform the church in a way that promoted good works and change for the benefit of society. Many of the revivalists resided in New York and the northern states. This age in history, referred to as…show more content…
This introduced the principle that slavery was a sin and an abomination. Ministers in the North preached about the horrors of slavery, especially the slave trade, and that God would seek vengeance on any nation that committed such cruelties. In New York during the year 1810, Reverend William Miller gave a sermon on the abolition of the slave trade stating, “According to the basis of the christian religion, we are bound to love God with all our soul, and our neighbor as ourselves: but this sacred injunction does not reach the heart of the oppressors of Africans” (Miller 11). This was the very premise for most of the Abolition Movement: thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. If thou doesn’t love thy neighbor as thyself, thou was unchristian like. Fervent sermons transferred meaningful ideas of equality to everyday citizens. Reverend Miller presented this sermon at the African Methodist Episcopal Church. The Methodist denomination was one of the most outspoken anti-slavery sects. The Methodist gained the most membership during the Second Great Awakening, in fact one in five Americans belonged to the Methodist Church (Keillor 1). This was how more wide spread ideals of abolition came about. The emergence of new denominations and egalitarian principles helped advance the Abolition…show more content…
Abolitionist had varied perspectives on emancipation and what was considered the right solution to the “peculiar institution”. Different groups like the American Anti-Slavery Society and the American Colonization Society were both fighting to abolish slavery; however, they acted in contradicting ways. One group wanted to include and invite free slaves into American society and the other wanted to free and send slaves back to Africa. The diverse opinions made it difficult for progress to occur. In fact, the one and only thing most people could agree on was the notion that slavery was immoral and inhumane. Despite the intricate positions on abolition, the Second Great Awakening influenced many leaders and developed new principles that radiated throughout the country. Christianity was the one unifying factor that most Americans could identify with at the time. The Enlightenment Era challenged old ideas of divine authority and stimulated a more progressive church aiming for equality. With leaders in the church declaring that slavery was a sin, and promoting the idea of a forgiving God, many northerners began to reach out and spread the word of God and secure their eternal salvation. These values were preached to most Americans from a very young age through song and childrens books. The Second Great Awakening initiated necessary conversations about social inequalities and helped
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