|Second Great Awakening: Bumper Sticker Mini-Project (15 points)
One of the great attractions of the Second Great Awakening was the fact that so many people were allowed to participate in the movement. Revivals, cast as entertainment and religion, drew thousands of people to hear the Christian word of God.
In this project, you (and a partner) will create a bumper sticker for the back of a wagon traveling during that time period that would accurately advertise a historical aspect of the Second Great Awakening and draw new people to the movement.
The bumper sticker should meet the following requirements:
1. All bumper stickers must be historically accurate. They can discuss a group, a specific person, or an aspect of the revivalist movement.
2. Students must remain faithful to the historical record of the period under discussion, but you may base your bumper stickers on contemporary models (i.e., they would not understand a reference to “call” or “text” someone).
3. The bumper sticker must be convincing/attractive to people in order to get them to join the movement.
4. Bumper stickers may not be offensive in nature. They may not contain profanity, nor may they denigrate a person or a group of people.
5. The bumper stickers must be on the provided sheet of paper AND must use color.
Example sticker from contemporary times using a historical reference to the colonial period:
Video guide: The Second Great Awakening
As you watch the video, fill in the following answers. Be sure to go back and highlight key points/figures/events/dates for context and causation purposes.
One major feature of 19th century religion was religious _______________. A religious revival is defined as a phenomenon in which ______________ are experiencing and unexpected increase in religious concern.
During this time, the amount of conversions to Christianity was surprisingly high, which led to the church being a major source of power in society. Conversions were most popular among men and women ages _____ to _____.
Revivals took place in a variety of forms. Initially, in the early 19th century, they were most prominent and what were called ________________________________, which took place in West Virginia and North Carolina as well as on the Kentucky and Ohio _________________ and were invented by Presbyterians, Methodists and Baptists (all of which were groups begun during the First Great Awakening). These meetings consisted of thousands people gathering in the ____________ for several days. They experienced a series of intense religious exercises and sermons.
Another form of religious revival was the protracted meeting, most prominent in _____________ and western regions of the United States. They normally lasted two to three weeks and consisted of two to three sermons each day. Preachers would work with the congregation one-on-one, praying with them and counseling them. Religious revivals spread as more and more converted Christians became ______________________ for the unconverted around them. This was a new style of evangelism, and focused on more than just religious doctrine and devotion. By the 1820s, evangelism had become the most powerful force in America. It overcame denominational boundaries and unified the Christian people.
Another effect of the revivals was the slow erosion of older periods in __________________ (Puritan) beliefs, such as the idea of predestination. Additionally, the Second Great Awakening led to the belief that Christ’s second coming was imminent, and therefore, Americans sought to _______________ society.
The group that was most successful during the time of revivals was the ______________________ denomination. Starting out with only 70,000 members in 1800, the Methodists’ numbers quickly reached one million by 1844. They emphasized that religion came from the ___________ and not from the head. They didn't have preachers who stayed with one church, but rather young men who ___________________ across America, preaching to different communities. They also sought law-and-order. Methodists wanted to raise the __________ standards and taught discipline in their camp meetings. They worked together to fight social ____________________and set the standards for class in America.
By the 1820s the Second Great Awakening had made its way back to the ____________. The “burned-over district” in New York was a popular site for religious revivals. New York was full of ________________ who were desperate for a new religious experience. One man, Charles G. Finney, took advantage of the Puritans’ desperations. Initially a lawyer, he underwent religious conversion in 1821. He became a Presbyterian minister and conducted revivals and towns all across the ___________________________. His most famous revival took place in the city of Rochester from 1830-1831. It was a citywide revival that ignored denominational boundaries. Finney was able to influence cooperation among Protestant denominations. Additionally, he created methods for speeding the rate of conversions. He rejected the Calvinist idea that humans were naturally inclined to commit sin; he simply told people what they wanted to hear, which is why he was so successful.
With the Second Great Awakening came critics of the revivalists. One group of skeptics was the ______________________. In the early 19th century, Unitarianism became recognized as a formal denomination of Christianity. They believed that Jesus Christ was less than fully divine. However, religious revivals eventually lead to the erosion of Unitarianism. The church was able to obtain some converts, mostly ______________ and __________________ New Englanders. Although other churches experienced the larger amount of converts, the Unitarian church still had more influence. They disagreed with the religious revivals of the 19th century; they criticized them as rude emotional exhibitions and argued that moral goodness should be gained through a gradual process of ____________________ building. They believed that rather than a simple emotional revival, humans should learn how to live their lives according to Christ.
One of the most controversial denominations that emerged during the 1820s was _____________________, or the Church of Latter day Saints, founded by ______________________________. He stated that he had a vision of an angel, who directed him to a buried book of golden plates. These plates, according to his visions, were inscribed with the Christian history of ancient American civilizations. In 1830, he translated the plates and published them into the Book of Mormon. He then organized a new denomination, stating that all other denominations were wrong, and that he had been sent by God to restore the early church in America. Despite Smith's astonishing claims, he quickly gathered followers in the ________________________ area. The reason Mormonism gained such popularity during the Second Awakening was mainly due to the appeal of the idea of an addition to the Bible. Many saw Mormonism as a way to resolve the _________________ between denominations and their inability to agree on what the Bible said or meant. Mormonism steadily spread __________ into Ohio and Missouri, and into Illinois, where Smith his followers built the Mormon City of Nauvoo. There, they hoped they could move closer to the Native Americans and convert them, which was one of their main goals.
Unfortunately during this process, Smith claimed to have received yet another revelation from God. By doing this, he seemingly undermined the authority of the Bible and ruined the movement’s reputation. In 1843, Smith once again claimed to have received another revelation; this one stated that having multiple _____________ was acceptable, further damaging Mormon reputation. Just as things couldn't have gone any worse for Smith, he started declaring that he was more than just the founder of Mormonism, but a _________________ from the kingdom of God. Joseph Smith later announced that he would be running for president, but many were already moving against him. Smith was charged with treason and killed by a mob in Illinois in 1844.
Mother ______________________ was known as the leader and founder of the __________________, also known as the United Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing. The term “shakers” was derived from their practice of whirling and shaking during religious services. They believed in devotion to simplicity and conduct in demeanor, as well as spiritual equality. They used dancing as a method of worship. Lee arrived in America from England in 1774, and quickly gained popularity. She formed a tightly-knit community in New Lebanon, New York. Shakers were known for their skilled artisan abilities as well as their high quality furniture and inventions that made life easier. Mother Lee claimed to have seen a vision in which God expelled Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden for having sex and therefore stated that her followers ___________________. She derived many of her beliefs from her visions. Normally her teachings of Christianity would have been considered outlandish, but during a time of religious revivals, Shaker missionaries quickly gained many converts. In addition to converts, the Shakers were famous for adopting many ____________________ (since they abstained from sex, they had no young members). In the mid-nineteenth century, numbers reached the thousands, and their ideals extended into eight states.
The Second Great Awakening enrolled millions of new members to Christianity. New denominations were formed and the need to reform society led to a nation of higher moral standards. Not only did this have an effect on society, but it also impacted politics. It provided answers for issues such as women's rights and abolitionism. The Awakening had a lasting effect on American society more than any other revival. It changed the religious landscape of the United States. Not only did it have a powerful impact on American history, it also reflected the growth and diversity in an expanding nation.