The Second Great Awakening was a Protestant revival movement during the early 19th century in the United States. The movement began around 1790, gained momentum by 1800, and after 1820 membership rose rapidly among Baptist and Methodist congregations whose preachers led the movement. It was past its peak by the late 1840s. It has been described as a reaction against skepticism, deism, and rationalism, although why those forces became pressing enough at the time to spark revivals is not fully understood.
It enrolled millions of new members in existing evangelical denominations and led to the formation of new denominations. Many converts believed that the Awakening heralded a new millennial age. The Second Great Awakening stimulated the establishment of many reform movements designed to remedy the evils of society before the anticipated Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
People at the time talked about the Awakening; historians named the Second Great Awakening in the context of the First Great Awakening of the 1730s and '40s and of the Third Great Awakening of the late 1850s to early 1900s.
1 Spread of revivals 1.1 Background
1.3 Burned-over district
1.4 West and Tidewater South
1.6 Church membership soars
2 Subgroups 2.1 Adventism
2.2 Restoration Movement
3 Culture and society
4 Slaves and free Africans
6 Prominent figures
7 Political implications
8 See also
10 Further reading
Spread of revivals
The second Great Awakening occurred in several episodes and over different denominations; however, the revivals were very similar. As the most effective form of evangelizing during this period, revival meetings cut across geographical boundaries, and the movement quickly spread throughout Kentucky, Tennessee and southern Ohio. Each denomination had assets that allowed it to thrive on the frontier. The Methodists had an efficient...
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