Essay On Past Religion Of America

533 words - 3 pages

Religion played a major role in the lives of all citizens during the building and expansion of the United States into the West. Its greatest influence occurred upon not only the attitudes of people, but also their actions. Evangelicalism was the main religion which people lived by during the 1800s as its influence in the Second Great Awakening proved successful. Instead of preaching brimstone and hellfire sermons, ministers resorted to the hope left for humankind of becoming worthy of God. In turn, the people of the country committed to their families and lessened the amount of drinking and smoking done. "The American Reformer was the product of evangelical religion, wh ...view middle of the document...

Greater measures were taken to improve the quality of life for everyone and more importantly to behave appropriately at all times. Manners and etiquette developed from a desire of the upper classes to separate themselves from the lower classes of people although they did so in a discreet way. "[The American reformer] recognized that each cause he espoused was a part of a world of progress and aspiration, but peculiarly his was the freedom to experiment, for in his homeland there was room and hospitality for adventure." During this "era of good feeling," people were more inclined to choose a cause and stick with it to make the world better even in a small way. Simply possessing an opinion and acting on it was purposeful in this time when many new ideologies and beliefs were adopted.So Alexis de Tocqueville wrote in admiration of the superior organization of the country in the midst of so much reform conflict. The sheer pleasure of promoting a cause led to the numerous reform movements around the United States in the 1800s preceding the Civil War, the climax of each reform in the embodiment of war against slavery.In conclusion to the evidence presented, one can determine that antebellum reform in the United States was indeed motivated by humanitarian goals. Democracy and government based mainly on the needs of the people was responsible for opening the floor to discussion of these issues. Evangelicalism approved and promoted the causes introduced during this time, and lastly the citizens of the country became motivated to pursue their causes by their own human morale, their instinct to do well.


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