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Lecture 8

HIS272 Lecture 8 - October 30, 2013

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Erin Black

October 30, 2013 ANTEBELLUM SOCIAL DEVELOPMENTS: THE AGE OF REVIVALISM & REFORM (Oct 30) I. Demographics and Immigration  Irish Potato Famine  Irish equal to blacks II. Women’s Sphere: Expansion?  Republican Motherhood  Public virtue deemed to be part of women’s sphere o Made sure that children raised properly o Main responsibility: childbearing o Responsible for raising future leaders o During 1870s it started to take hold o Young women often told that stability of country depends on them o Put motherhood in new light as it legitimizes female education as women had to teach their children (especially sons) with American morals and beliefs o Gender roles still the same however  By 1845: around 100 dedicated female academies (in northern states) o South not as involved o Attendees tended to be adolescent girls from middle- upper class o Taught basic rudiments of reading and writing and also taught etiquette, history, mathematics, philosophy, languages  Therefore, women had greater access to education  Women’s Legal Status  100% subordinate to men  Legal status dependent on either father or husband  Marriage meant women obligated to obey husband  Any property, wages, income belongs to husband  Domestic and sexual services are husband’s to command  No legal rights to enter contract with their own name, couldn’t launch lawsuits,  Treason or brothels were the only crimes they could be charged for, anything else is charged to the male  Men were in charge of making sure women obeyed laws  Women were allowed to get a divorce but it was difficult to access and women had to petition for it. o Divorce still fairly uncommon  Single adult women (widow or became a matron) could maintain property in their own right, but they are barred from October 30, 2013 voting as are all women and barred form other sorts of privileges that males are allowed  Doctrine of Separate Spheres  Women’s role in household not considered work  Society idealized  Much stronger in upper classes  To be a man, work and pay  To be a woman, exercise duty to home and family  Problem with separate spheres is that it doesn’t sit well by 1830s and 40s with women, especially with those who had an early experience with working in mills  Women also became more involved with reform movements o Helps them with petitioning  Ultimately, in 30s, 40s and 50s is the women’s rights movement  Beginnings of the Women’s Rights Movement  Seated in rise of evangelism  Through religious ideals, women worked to put religious ideals by joining peace, temperate and anti-slavery societies  Anti-slavery was key to development of women’s rights movement  It gave women activists practice and experience in running petitions, meetings, etc.  Women felt they were not being given natural rights and equal rights  Seneca Falls Convention, 1848 o In New York o Organized by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony  Middle class o Bring other women and men of like mind o First national convention on women’s rights in US and one of first in western world o For around a week, women with husbands talked about how they are subordinated and this eventually produces a statement called… o Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions  Models Declaration of Independence except it changes the language to say that oppressor is men and oppressed are women  Listed various ways in which women had been discriminated against: the worst was that they were compelled to submit to laws in which she had no voice (no right to vote!)  Resolutions was a list of demands of what women wants which was their inalienable October 30, 2013 rights, their inalienable right to franchise, and the right to vote  1848-1860: nearly 2 dozen women’s rights conventions  Doctrine of separate spheres was too strong to break  Until 1920 for women to be given the right to vote o Important that some of this grows out of reform and evangelism III. The Second Great Awakening  Longstanding development  Begins in age of Jefferson  Doesn’t reach crescendo until 20s and fully stretches out till 40s  Starts because of concern similar to First Great Awakening  Reason: transition between household to economy  Primary part of origin is northeast as this is where market economy taking place the most  Optimistic and democratic theology that appeals to the people  Evangelical Beliefs  General sense of religious revival  Funnels themselves into secular based reform  Kingdom of God is imminent  Return of Christ is happening soon  People need to become more religious if they want to enter heaven  Most were convinced that Christ would come to America  Belief that America was chosen for special mission  Individualism o Belief that it is within one’s own power to determine whether they will be saved o Have to choose that path and choose to be saved o Strive for perfection o Don’t have to be among the elect, don’t have to be well-versed in Bible, don’t have to study and become theologian as answer is within you  Egalitarianism o Everybody is equal in the eyes of God o Everybody has access to God’s saving grace  Cool Message, Hot Medium (Charles Grandison Finney)  Complete 180 from previous Puritan message in which only elect are saved  Emphasizes individual free will, everybody equal in eyes of God, everybody can be saved  God is a God of love and freedom October 30, 2013  Huge social events where evangelical preachers would come and invite people and it would be huge celebratory parties  New types of preaching: Free form sermons  Delivering sermons with a great deal of energy and a lot of preachers are not educated  Easier to hear these preachers in comparison to droning on of religious message like previously done  Often included folk-based music to incite passions of congregation to get them involved and actively engaged in sermons  Blatant stealing of gospel music from blacks who incorporated music when they became Christians  Rochester, NY: Burned-Over District o Evangelism was crazy and the people who were not morally good became part of this burned up evangelism  Mass-spread throughout northern states b/c it can follow railroads and canals  Charles Grandison Finney o Originally a lawyer but experienced conversion in 1821 o Most sought after preacher in US o Believed preaching had to be theatrical and lively o Conducts revivals in Burned-Out District between 1825-1828 o Spends 6 months alone in Rochester to purge sinfulness and drunkenness o Invited by local ministers and businessmen of Rochester who were concerned  Social origins of Revivalism  Finney goes to Rochester and converts double  First people to convert are manufacturers who got message from wives  Women 2:1 ratio converts  Manufacturers went to community to get money for churches and to get preachers (Finney) to come in  Sees it as social control as moral connection between master craftsmen and apprentice disappear so the master cannot teach morals: therefore, Church does it  A lot of people who want to see more discipline in society  Conversion breeds piety, piety breeds order and peacefulness  Message of egalitarianism o Clear to workers that they are lower class so they can turn to system of belief that says regardless of their status they are all equal to God IV. Visions of Utopia  Tends to call reform communities utopian  Based on Thomas More’s utopian literature October 30, 2013  Diverse, some deeply religious in origins  More secular of utopian communities were driven by desire to counteract social and economic changes  Some communities integrated into larger agricultural landscape  Common belief underlining diverse social experiments that Americans can achieve perfect society if given right guiding principles  They try to find substitutes for gender relations: celibacy  Abolish private property, end to men’s property in women too!  Shakers  Founder: Mother Anne Lee o English poor-working class o Worst of all was lust of flesh o Believed God told her to emigrate to US and work to set up more perfect community o 1777: establishes first Shaker community  During 1840s, cooperative Shakers stretched from Kentucky to  Held meetings in where they “shook” themselves with the belief that they were shaking out the sins  Believed in universal  Sought to achieve Christian perfection  Believed in celibacy  God had dual personality: male and female therefore both genders equal  Reject family life: men lived in separate dorms  Reject accumulation of private property  Successful economically  Focused on gardening and made successful living selling gardening plants, seeds, medicinal herbs, etc.  Religious-based but has different cultural values from US  Oneida Community  Largely secular  Did not believe in private property  Sanctified man and woman could have sex regardless of status (multiple partners)  Rest of society see Oneida as people who are just interested in sex  So committed to perfect society they practiced eugenics: selective marriages for purposes of breeding more perfect specimens  Endorsed temperance, pacifism, and immediate abolition of slavery  Mormons (Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints) (Joseph Smith: Brigham Young)  Largest and most successful attempt to create perfect society  Founded in 1820 by Joseph Smith October 30, 2013  Smith was a young farmer in N. NY who claimed that an angel gave him a book called “Book of Mormon” o Identifies Natives as descendants of Israelites  Smith had absolute authority over followers  Religious leaders are political leaders  Constitutional separation of church and state and Mormon was opposite  Mormons practiced polygyny  Mobs worked to drive them out  Smith and followers driven to upstate NY  Awaiting second coming of Christ  Smith murdered and Brigham Young leads people to a new level  Salt Basin, Utah: new Mormons place V. Reform Societies  Reformers tended to come from largely white, middle-class backgrounds  Thought of themselves as Christian soldier
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