Reform Sparked by the Second Great Awakening

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The Second Great Awakening in the early nineteenth century was about making people more noble, God-fearing, and erudite. Stemmed from the repercussion against the deist faith, Americans began pouring their time and energy into religious resurgences and reform movements. This uproar of religious groundswell sparked massive social reforms that amplified throughout the country. The idea that everyone can be saved, and everybody is worthy of salvation, heightened the interaction between one another through evangelism. Voluminous varieties of restructurings, all birthed from the awakening and spurred from evangelistic outreaching, included the ideas of alcohol consumption, women’s rights, and the education system. Earthly evils such as alcoholism eliminated any chances of having a perfect society which was one of the key ideas sought after during the Second Great Awakening. Americans were beginning to fall into a rut of a repetitious and wearisome lifestyle and so the alcohol therefore provided distraction and entertainment. It became a widespread tribulation that reformers sought to end. The religious revival spoke out against the drunkenness of citizens, that it contaminated the home and threatened one’s own and family’s spiritual prosperity. Many incipient organizations besought many to sign pledges and employed the use of pictures, lectures, and testimonies in the hopes to teach about the evil ways of alcoholism. However, other zealots were determined that the only way to stop substance abuse was through legislation. The Maine Law of 1851 was passed, followed by other Northern states which banned the manufacture and sale of the debasing liquor. Nevertheless, these laws were seldom followed and were eventually repealed. Though it was near impossible to prevent citizens from intoxication, many reformers saw a significant decrease in consumption. Thought to be physically and emotionally weak, women were the “submerged sex” in America. They were denied...
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