Revivalism and Social Reform

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Revivalism & Social Reform Grant Dockery Timothy L. Smith

Christianity in the 1800s was a huge ordeal. It was growing exponentially between groups of people, churches were spreading, and the word was being taken out, but there are many questions to be asked about Christianity at that time. Churches and the government were tied tight, with which the church was very happy. Buildings and money were provided for the people, given that they help out in a number of ways. It was said to be a politico-religious golden age. By helping out the church, some believed that they did not have to actually be a part of the church to automatically be included in the benefits. Others believed that the church was going to quickly and greatly fall, and that it would cease to have an influence on the government and on everyday life. Those people were proven wrong. Organized Protestantism was at its peak by 1820, with reported 38,183 church buildings in America, which was one for every 608 people. The total of all these churches is valued at over $87,000,000. In 1832, while the population of Roman Catholics rose by 88%, the population of evangelic clergymen rose by 175%. By 1855, 27,000,000 people attended a Protestant congregation. In the 1850s, there were over six million Methodists, over four million Baptists, and over 2.5 million Presbyterians. With so many people joining the church, many activities were designed to bring together church members. Members of standard churches were required to have persistent conversation and communication with others, to discuss their spiritual life, and to hold each other accountable to make the right decisions. As a member, one was required to attend two worship services and Sunday School. Normally in the week, there would be a day devoted to prayer, dedicated to gathering

together and praying for long durations. The government funded a great deal of the events that went on in the church. The church had a great relationship with the state,...
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