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Checkpoint Perfection Era Paper

Checkpoint Perfection Era Paper

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Published by Jessica L. Burke

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Categories:Types, School Work
Published by: Jessica L. Burke on Jun 12, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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Jessica L. McConkeyPerfection Era Paper
 
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Perfection Era Paper Jessica L. McConkeyHIS 1156/5/2011Gregory Taylor 
 
Jessica L. McConkeyPerfection Era Paper
 
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Perfection Era Paper As colonists continued to move into the west and the south at the beginning of the18thcentury, colonial expansion was changing both the world around them and colonial society(Davidson, 2005). As colonists began to move into the countryside, they found themselves far away from their church meetings and congregations (Davidson, 2005). This led to both the building of many new churches and the establishment of new communities, and also to thespread of Enlightenment ideas that valued the questioning of religious dogma (Davidson, 2005).Because the second Great Awakening encouraged people to join major Protestant churches, theCongregational, Presbyterian, Baptist, and Methodist churches grew significantly, whileAmerican religious leaders encouraged the movement of religious schools and started revivals(Davidson, 2005). These revivals, in a sense, represented and reinforced the national Americanideals of democracy and equality (Davidson, 2005).The Great Awakening taught a new democratic ideal-- that a person's most valuablequality was their religious conversion. This ideal was later called perfectionism, and it led to theunderstood aim of creating a perfect, egalitarian society. Even while holding this ideal, though,society continued to view both women and African Americans as second-class citizens. Later, insome churches, African Americans and women were allowed to speak out, preach to acongregation, and vote, but their influence only extended to religious matters. At this time,women were expected to obey a set of rules that governed their conduct. Women could usuallynot work outside of their home. As the household grew further from the workplace, the homeitself acquired a new identity in society (Davidson, 2005). While they could not take political power, women at this time founded charitable organizations that encouraged close friendships
 
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 between women, which allowed them a means of expressing their moral authority to society as awhole (Davidson, 2005).The Great Awakening did allow some women and African Americans to take someauthority within their churches, but not all congregations supported these changes in the socialorder. While the status of many women and African Americans grew in regards to their religion,the still could not exercise this new status or their new rights outside of the church (Davidson,2005). During this time the abolitionist movement began, aiming to obtain equal rights for women and African Americans (Davidson, 2005). This movement hoped to abolish slavery andcreate more equality, but it was based more on morality than on activism (Davidson, 2005).While both the Great Awakening and the Perfectionist movement had major impacts onAmerican society, it was actually the Second Great Awakening that created the largest socialchange.The occurrence of the Second Great Awakening paralleled that of the first GreatAwakening. It aimed to unify the many factions of Christianity through huge religious revival(Davidson, 2005). Many Christians of differing denominations wanted to be able to applyChristian principles and rules to the secular world. The largest effect of the Second GreatAwakening, though, was that membership rose significantly in major Protestant churches like theCongregational, Presbyterian, Baptist, and Methodist churches (Davidson, 2005).During thistime, social activists wanted to both change society and empower other people of faith to do thesame thing. As they had been empowered by the egalitarian ideals of the first Great Awakening,women and African Americans were able to play a major role in this movement.The abolitionist party called the Liberty Party was formed during the Second GreatAwakening. This party aimed to stop not only slavery, but other social inequalities, like the

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