Chapter 13

Chapter 13: An American Renaissance: Religion, Romanticism, And Reform

Chapter Outline

Rational religion

  1. The concept of mission in the American character
  2. The development of deism
    1. Roots in rationalism and Calvinism
    2. Nature of the beliefs
  3. The development of Unitarianism
    1. Nature of the beliefs
    2. Role of William Ellery Channing
    3. Creation of American Unitarian Association
  4. The development of Universalism
    1. Role of John Murray
    2. Nature of the beliefs
    3. Comparison with Unitarianism

The Second Great Awakening

  1. Origins of the revival movement
  2. The frontier phase of revivalism
    1. Development of the camp meeting
    2. Frontier reception of the revivals
    3. Emergence of the Presbyterians
    4. Role of the Baptists
    5. The Methodists' impact
    6. Appeal to African Americans
    7. Spread of revivals on the frontier
    8. Women and revivalism
  3. Revivals in western New York State
    1. Role of Charles Grandison Finney
    2. Nature of Oberlin College
    3. The Rise of the Mormons
      1. Role of Joseph Smith
      2. Characteristics of the church
      3. Persecution of Mormons
      4. The move to Utah

    Romanticism in America

    1. Nature of the Romantic revolt
    2. Transcendentalism as a Romantic expression
      1. Nature of Transcendentalism
      2. Margaret Fuller
      3. Ralph Waldo Emerson
      4. Henry David Thoreau
      5. The impact of Transcendentalism

    The flowering of American literature

    1. Nathaniel Hawthorne
    2. Emily Dickinson
    3. Edgar Allan Poe
    4. Herman Melville
    5. Walt Whitman
    6. The popular press
      1. Impact of advances in printing technology
      2. Proliferation of newspapers


    1. Level of literacy
    2. Early public schools
    3. Rising demand for public schools in the 1830s
      1. Basis of demand
      2. Role of Horace Mann
      3. Leadership of North Carolina in the South
      4. Limited progress
    4. Developments in higher education
      1. Post-Revolutionary surge in college formation
      2. Conflicts over curriculum
      3. Slow growth of technical education
    5. Education for women

    Movements for reform

    1. Roots of reform
    2. Temperance
      1. Heavy consumption of alcohol in the United States
      2. Arguments for temperance
      3. Early efforts at reform
      4. The American Temperance Union
    3. Prison reform
      1. Growth of public institutions to treat social ills
      2. Prevention and rehabilitation versus punishment for crime
      3. Auburn prison system
    4. Reform in treatment of the insane
      1. Early state institutions for the insane
      2. Work of Dorothea Dix
    5. Crusade for women's rights
      1. Catharine Beecher and the "cult of domesticity"
      2. Advantages of domestic role for women
      3. Status of women in the antebellum period
      4. Seneca Falls Conference (1848)
      5. Hindrances to success
      6. Women and the professions
    6. Utopian communities
      1. Proliferation of utopian communities
      2. Nature of the Shaker communities
      3. Development and contributions of the Oneida Community
      4. Robert Owen and New Harmony
      5. The importance of Brook Farm
      6. The decline of utopia
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