Beginnings of the Second Great Awakening (1801-1856)
Sections:
  1. The Changing Face of the Parish
  2. The Cane Ridge Revival
  3. Peter Cartwright on Cane Ridge
  4. David Purviance on Cane Ridge
  5. A Non-Denominational Approach
  6. Barton Stone
  7. The Temperance Movement
The Changing Face of the ParishTop
Historical Context
The Second Great Awakening, a Protestant religious movement marked by the emergence of revivalism and evangelical doctrine, was born as a reaction to the intellectualism of the Enlightenment. Disillusioned by the rational and cerebral results the Enlightenment seemed to bring, Protestant preachers began emerging throughout America, ushering in revivals which saw converts in the thousands. The following module provides a glimpse into the beginnings of this resurgence of Protestant revivalism by highlighting some of the most important players as well as demonstrating the changes America was enduring which ushered in what became known as the Second Great Awakening.

The Second Great Awakening should be understood in the context of a great migration west as well as a new fascination with the American wilderness. The admission of many new states west of the Appalachian Mountains as American provided the opportunity for Western expansion. Seizing this opportunity, thousands of people began moving west, a phenomenon which put considerable strain on the institution of religion. Churches needed to become more flexible. The notion of the parish had to be reapplied to the changing times.

Attached Documents
Such a notion was understood fully by the Presbyterian preacher James McGready, who was instrumental in sparking the Second Great Awakening. Preaching from Logan County, Kentucky, McGready hosted what became known as frontier camp meetings, or loosely organized church meetings in which preachers delivered informal sermons to large, non-affiliated congregations. As was often the case, many conversions took place during these camp meetings. Provided below is one such account by McGready himself written in the years just before 1800. It is evident that while the meetings described by McGready were well attended and influential, the Presbyterian preacher also clearly struggled to keep the faithful interested. This was due to both rival preachers and the stubborn clinging of the frontier people to their previous ways of worship.

Questions to Consider
1) In what ways does the Second Great Awakening mirror the changes going on in America at the time?
2) How did the Protestant revivalism movement keep up with the changing times?
     McGready on Revivalism.rtf  
Citations:
Full Version: http://www.cumberland.org/hfcpc/McGreaBK.htm
The Cane Ridge RevivalTop
Historical Context
The Cane Ridge Revival was the event that bore the most impact on the Second Great Awakening. Located in northeastern Kentucky, Cane Ridge became the site of the largest Protestant revival movement of the time and inspired hundreds of similar revivals to spring up in its wake.

The revival was led primarily by the charismatic Presbyterian preacher Barton Stone although at any given time three or four preachers were said to have been delivering sermons. This is indicative of the immense size of the camp meeting. Barton Stone, who would later lead a movement which would see the splintering of the Presbyterian church known as the Stone-Campbell movement, had much influence over the proceedings at Cane Ridge as well as the attendants of the revival.

Attached Documents
The first image is a map of the location of the Cane Ridge Revival.

The second image is a portrait of Barton Stone.
     Cane Ridge Map.gif
     Barton Stone.jpg
Citations:
Cane Ridge Map: http://www.uky.edu/KentuckyAtlas/ky-cane-ridge.html
Barton Stone Picture: http://www.cts.edu/ImageLibrary.disciple_early_19th.cfm

Peter Cartwright on Cane RidgeTop
Historical Context
The Cane Ridge Revival has been written about extensively by some of the most influential preachers of the time who attended. One such preacher, Peter Cartwright worked closely in Logan County with James McGready. A Methodist preacher, Cartwright was known for his creative ways to convince the frontier people of his religious commitment.

Attached Documents
Cartwright's account describes in detail the Cane Ridge Revival, as well as outlining the effects of the revival on the religious fervor of the fledgling nation. In his account, Cartwright's distaste for the idea of universal salvation, a common notion in past times, is evident, which displays the changing face of Protestantism. Also throughout his account is a description of the rather ecstatic nature of the Cane Ridge revival, including the emergence of "jerking", a sort of convulsing common during the camp meetings. New converts would succumb to the jerking and claimed helplessness against it.

The image is a portrait of Peter Cartwright.

Questions to Consider
1) What changes in religious activity are evident in Cartwright's account of the Cane Ridge Revival?
2) Are there any examples of such revivals in contemporary times?
     Cartwright.rtf  
     Peter Cartwright.jpg
Citations:
Full Version: http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/6370/
Cartwright Picture: http://lincoln.lib.niu.edu/cgi-bin/getobject_?c.1885:1./lib35/artfl1/databases/sources/IMAGE/

David Purviance on Cane RidgeTop
Historical Context
David Purviance was to go on to have far reaching influence in the Presbyterian church. Purviance, a resident of Cane Ridge had been moved by the work of James McGready and aimed to replicate his success. Eager to spread his Presbyterian message into politics, Purviance ran into great difficulty gaining political support due to his strong anti-slavery stance. Such a stance represents the emerging Protestant liberalism delivered throughout the Second Great Awakening, particularly during the Cane Ridge Revival.

Attached Documents
Provided below is Purviance's own account of the Cane Ridge Revival. In the account, Purviance gives a description of the work of Barton Stone which sheds light on the influence of the man.

Questions to Consider
1) Discuss the influence of Barton Stone. Did the conditions of the country at the time lead to his popularity? Why or why not?
     Purviance.rtf  
Citations:
Full Version: http://docsouth.unc.edu/nc/purviance/purviance.html

A Non-Denominational ApproachTop
Attached Documents
The final account provided is from the Reverend James Finney who was actually converted at Cane Ridge. Finney's account is unique in that it describes the very non-denominational nature of the revival; Methodists, Presbyterians, and Baptists alike all participated in the camp meetings with no denomination being subordinated to any other. Like Cartwright's account, Finney's take describes in detail the ecstatic behavior of the attendants, including the jerking mentioned by Cartwright. Most notable are Finney's assertions concerning Calvinism. The influence of Calvinist doctrine over the revival movement was quite evident, ushering in a new era of Protestant evangelism.

Questions to Consider
1) How did the adoption of Calvinist doctrine change the nature of the Protestant revival movement in the United States?
2) What impact did the non-denominational aspect of the Cane Ridge Revival have on religion in America in contemporary times?
     Reverend Finney.rtf  
Citations:
Full Version: http://www.uoregon.edu/~sshoemak/323/texts/cane_ridge_revival.htm

Barton StoneTop
Historical Context
The Cane Ridge Revival saw a lasting impact on the frontier. The revivalist spirit was to flourish throughout the new states, ushering in a resurgence in Protestantism, particularly Methodism and Baptism. Within the Presbyterian Church, however, the Cane Ridge Revival saw dissent and an eventual split. Barton Stone, one of the major leaders of the Cane Ridge Revival, was perceived by many within the Presbyterian Church to have turned his back on Calvinist doctrine, as well as going against the doctrine of the Presbyterian Church by participating in the ecstatic revival. Leader of the Springfield Presbytery in Bourbon County, Kentucky (the same county as Cane Ridge), Stone was at odds with his own desires for a unified church and the church's distaste for his work.

Attached Documents
Thus, as a result of the conflict, Stone split from the Presbyterian church, issuing in 1804 "The Last Will and Testament of the Springfield Presbytery". In asserting his independence, Stone began a new church of his own which embraced the charismatic nature of revivalism while hoping to attain an harmonious religious unity.

Reverend Finney, the aforementioned convert from the Cane Ridge Revival also provides an interesting glimpse into the work of Barton Stone. Familiar with the work of Stone, Finney describes the Presbyterian split which took place after the Cane Ridge revival. Thorough in his description of Stone's new movement, the Finney account speaks of the difficulty faced by Stone in his endeavors.

Questions to Consider
1) What was the significance of a split in the Presbyterian church?
2) Did the division of the Presbyterian church provide Barton Stone with more or less credibility? Explain your answer.
     Last Will and Testament.rtf  
     Finney on Barton Stone.rtf  
Citations:
Last Will and Testament Full Version: http://www.bible.acu.edu/stone-campbell/Etexts/lastwill.html
Finney on Barton Stone Full Version: http://www.uoregon.edu/~sshoemak/323/texts/cane_ridge_revival.htm

The Temperance MovementTop
Historical Context
Many social movements emerged as a result of the Second Great Awakening. One such movement was the Temperance Movement. The goal of this movement was teach the evils of drinking alcohol.

Attached Documents
Below you will find Temperance Cards. Theses cards were handed out on street corners, in schools, and churches.

Questions to Consider
1. Does this mirror any other movement in American history?
     Temperance Cards.jpg
     A Chronology of Temperance Movements in Harpers Ferry.rtf  
Citations:
Link to Temperance Cards: http://www.hds.harvard.edu/library/exhibits/online/hdspublicministry/typetalk.html

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