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|Collection Reference Number
|From Archive Folder
|Documents Relating to 1824
|Columbia Centinel. [No. 4179 (April 28 1824)]
|28 April 1824
|Newspapers and Magazines
|Discusses the tariff, the disestablishment of religion in Massachusetts, and divorce.
|Banking Bank of the US Marriage Women's History Commerce Merchants and Trade Government and Civics Economics Religion
|Banking & Economics; Women in American History; Merchants & Commerce; Religion
|The Gilder Lehrman Collection, 1493-1859
|In 1833, Massachusetts became the last state to end state support for churches. Nine years earlier, the state had adopted a measure allowing officially-recognized religious societies, not only the official Congregationalists, to assess taxes on all church members. Religious revivals, in part, were a reaction to the disestablishment of churches. Deprived of tax revenue, Protestant ministers held revivals to ensure that America would remain a God-fearing nation. The popularity of revivals also reflected many Americans' hunger for an emotional religion that downplayed creeds and emphasized conversion. Revivals met a growing need for a sense of community and communal purpose. At a time of increasing mobility and mounting commercialism, revivals offered an antidote to secularism, materialism, and individualism. To some extent, revivals transcended class lines, but they had particular appeal to distinct social groups. In the South, revivals attracted the dispossessed, slaves as well as yeoman whites. In the North, it was the aspiring and upwardly mobile groups, especially in thriving market towns and new western cities. Middle-class women, in particular, joined the revivals in large numbers. The revivals left an indelible imprint on antebellum American culture. The rituals of evangelical religion--the camp meeting, the dramatic conversion experience, and mass baptisms along rivers and creeks--were the truly distinctive American experience before the Civil War. When Lincoln, in the Gettysburg Address and Second Inaugural, spoke about a bloody sacrifice, rebirth, collective punishment, and national mission, his words carried haunting echoes of revivalist sermons.
|The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History
|Settlement, Commerce, Revolution and Reform: 1493-1859