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Second Great Awakening

Ishani Chatterjee Shukla May 12, 2019
What was the Second Great Awakening all about? What impact did it have on the American history? Let's find out.
The Second Great Awakening was a significant religious movement in the history of Christianity and Christian faith and ideologies. This period of religious revival spanned from 1790 till a significant part of the 1840s.
These phenomenon closely followed on the heels of the First Great Awakening that took place during the time when most of America was under colonial rule. This movement resulted in the conversion of a huge chunk of the American populace to Christianity as a result of heightened church activities and increase in a general fervor for social activism.
The inception of a number of new Christian denominations was the result of the revivalism wave that washed across the religious backdrop of the 18th and early 19th century American nations. Let's find out more about the Second Great Awakening from the subsequent paragraphs.

What Caused the Second Great Awakening?

It all started with a tide of revivals that gradually proceeded to take the form of prominent religious movements such as Adventism in North America in the early part of the 19th century. Following the First Great Awakening, there was an unprecedented spike of public interest in religion and religious ideologies.
Religious hysteria and fanaticism was replaced by reverent silence and contained emotions and the desire for religious independence, in tandem with political independence, was voiced by many during this period. The nature and tone of the reforms and movements which were a significant part of the Second Great Awakening effects differed from region to region.
While it was all about a spike in instances of religious social activism in New England, western New York was marked by the birth of many new religious denominations. The Methodist and Baptist faiths and principles were rejuvenated in the regions of Kentucky and Tennessee.
The genesis of the Second Great Awakening can be traced from the popularization of Arminianism and its related theological ideals. This religious revival movement was believed by the followers to kick-start the beginning of a new religious millennia and the various reforms and revival movements were seen as preparations for the Second Coming of Christ.
New York became the ground where the most number of revival movements crossed paths, so much so that upstate New York, indeed, came to be known as the burned-over district.
As a result of such a sudden increase in the number of religious movements and works of social activism, the membership of various churches (Methodist, Baptist, Seventh-Day Adventist Church, Cumberland Presbyterian Church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Evangelical Christian Church, etc.) increased manifold.
The various different revivals that were proposed and took place were decided at camp meetings and implemented based on such decision. This was especially true in case of the frontier regions, recently settled during that period. Settlers from these frontiers thronged these camp meetings in order to gain fellowships to the various revival movements.
No summary of this movement would be complete without mentioning the Restoration Movement. In fact, the Restoration Movement forms the crux of the Second Great Awakening. The Restoration Movement was all about bringing back a purer, more primitive form of Christianity which had taken a backseat in the peak of the Second Great Awakening.
The dimming of the conventional religious ideas pertaining to the Christian faith, Christian philosophy and personal theology in the light of the emergence of fresher perspectives regarding the same was what the Second Great Awakening was all about and the various reforms strove to preach the importance of personal piety over schooled theological beliefs.
These new perspectives emerged as a result of the various religious revivalism that spanned across the North American continent. The Restoration Movement began during the same period when the Second Great Awakening was at its peak.