Chapter 15 - The Ferment of Reform and Culture, 1790-1860 Flashcards Preview

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Second Great Awakening

A Christian religious revival movement during the early 19th century in the United States, which expressed every person could be saved through revivals. The Second Great Awakening stimulated the establishment of many reform movements designed to remedy the evils of society before the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.



Believed in Transcendentalism, they included Emerson (who pioneered the movement) and Thoreau. Many of them formed cooperative communities such as Brook Farm and Fruitlands, in which they lived and farmed together with the philosophy as their guide. "They sympathize with each other in the hope that the future will not always be as the past." It was more literary than practical - Brook Farm lasted only from 1841 to 1847.


Ralph Waldo Emerson

American lecturer, essayist and poet, who led the Transcendentalist movement of the mid-19th century. He was seen as a champion of individualism and a prescient critic of the countervailing pressures of society, and he disseminated his thoughts through dozens of published essays and more than 1,500 public lectures across the United States.


Henry David Thoreau

He was a poet, a mystic, a transcendentalist, a nonconformist, and a close friend of Ralph Waldo Emerson who lived from 1817-1862. He condemned government for supporting slavery and was jailed when he refused to pay his Mass. poll tax. He is well known for his novel about the two years of simple living he spent on the edge of Walden Pond called "Walden" , Or Life in the Woods. This novel furthered many idealistic thoughts. He was a great transcendentalist writer who not only wrote many great things, but who also encouraged, by his writings, Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr.



an ideal community or society possessing a perfect socio-politico-legal system. The term has been used to describe both intentional communities that attempt to create an ideal society, and fictional societies portrayed in literature. It has spawned other concepts, most prominently dystopia.


Brook Farm

An experiment in Utopian socialism, it lasted for six years (1841-1847) in New Roxbury, Massachusetts.


New Harmony

A utopian settlement in Indiana lasting from 1825 to 1827. It had 1,000 settlers, but a lack of authority caused it to break up.


Oneida Community

A group of socio-religious perfectionists who lived in New York. Practiced polygamy, communal property, and communal raising of children.


Temperance Crusade/ American Temperance Society

An organization group in which reformers are trying to help the ever present drink problem. This group was formed in Boston in 1826, and it was the first well-organized group created to deal with the problems drunkards had on societies well being, and the possible well-being of the individuals that are heavily influenced by alcohol.


Seneca Falls Convention

July, 1848 - Site of the first modern women's right convention. At the gathering, Elizabeth Cady Stanton read a Declaration of Sentiment listing the many discriminations against women, and adopted eleven resolutions, one of which called for women's suffrage.


American Colonization Society

Founded in Liberia 1816 by Robert Finley. The founding purpose of the society was to assist freed Southern American slaves to emigrate to Liberia, in an effort to remove them from the United States.


Hudson River School

In about 1825, a group of American painters, led by Thomas Cole, used their talents to do landscapes, which were not highly regarded. They painted many scenes of New York's Hudson River. Mystical overtones.


The Age of Reason

Written by Thomas Paine. The Age of Reason was published in three parts between 1794 and 1807. A critique of organized religion, the book was criticized as a defense of Atheism. Paine's argument is a prime example of the rationalist approach to religion inspired by Enlightenment ideals.



The religion of the Enlightenment (1700s). Followers believed that God existed and had created the world, but that afterwards He left it to run by its own natural laws. Denied that God communicated to man or in any way influenced his life.



A religious cult constructed in New England at the end of the eighteenth century and believed God existed in only one person and not in the holy trinity. They focused more on the essential goodness of human nature rather than its vileness and pictured God as a loving father. The Unitarians were comprised of mostly the upper class and their contradicting beliefs began a reaction of revivals known as the Second Great Awakening.


Camp Meetings

ead the Second Great Awakening to the frontier. As many as 25,000 people would gather for an encampment of several days to drink the hell-fire gospel as served up by an itinerant preacher. Sometimes frenzies of rolling, dancing, barking, and jerking. Revivals boosted church membership and stimulated a variety of humanitarian reforms.


Charles Grandison Finney

Known as the "father of modern revivalism," he was a pioneer of cooperation among Protestant denominations. He believed that conversions were human creations instead of the divine works of God, and that people's destinies were in their own hands. His "Social Gospel" offered salvation to all



Term applied to the region of western New York along the Erie Canal, and refers to the religious fervor of its inhabitants. In the 1800's, farmers there were susceptible to revivalist and tent rallies by the pentecostals (religious groups).


Millerites (Adventists)

(Adventists) Predicted Christ's return on October 22, 1844. When this prophecy failed to materialize, the movement lost credibility.


Joseph Smith

Reported to being visited by an angel and given golden plates in 1840; the plates, when deciphered, brought about the Church of Latter Day Saints and the Book of Mormon; he ran into opposition from Ohio, Illinois, and Missouri when he attempted to spread the Mormon beliefs; he was killed by those who opposed him.


Book of Mormon

The sacred texts of the Latter Day Saint movement. It is regarded by Latter Day Saints as divinely revealed and is named after the prophet-historian Mormon who, according to the text, compiled most of the book. It was published by the founder of the LDS movement, Joseph Smith, who said the book was a translation of golden plates that only made possible by god and the angel Moroni.


Brigham Young

A Mormon leader that led his oppressed followers to Utah in 1846. Under Young's management, his Mormon community became a prosperous frontier theocracy and a cooperative commonwealth. He became the territorial governor in 1850. Unable to control the hierarchy of Young, Washington sent a federal army in 1857 against the harassing Mormons.


Three R's

Readin’, Ritin’, and ‘Rithmetic. The basics of what was taught in American schoolhouses.


Horace Mann

Secretary of the Massachusetts Board of Education, he was a prominent proponent of public school reform, and set the standard for public schools throughout the nation.


Noah Webster

Born in Connecticut. Educated at Yale. Lived 1758-1843. Called "Schoolmaster of the Republic." Wrote reading primers and texts for school use. He was most famous for his dictionary, first published in 1828, which standardized the English language in America.


McGuffey's Readers

Nearly every schoolchild read from, also had contained both English lessons as well as patriotic and moral lessons


University of Virginia

University in Virginia started by Thomas Jefferson who lived nearby and designed some of the architecture of the University.


Oberlin College

Evangelical college in Ohio that was the first institution of higher education to admit Blacks and women.


Mary Lyon

Established Mount Holyoke Seminary



Public lecture hall that hosted speakers on topics ranging from science to moral philosophy. Part of a broader flourishing of higher education the mid-ninteenth century.

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