religion in the 1800s in america

While California may have represented one extreme on the spectrum, Iowa, which became a state in 1846 and shared with California the attentions of evangelists, serves as an example of the quintessential Middle West. 28 Dec 2020. Joseph Smith, was beaten by mobs more than once. In the territorial capital of Illinois, for example, Mills could not find a single complete copy of the Bible. News of the Cane Ridge camp meeting spread to the East, becoming the butt of jokes to critics but evidence of a second Pentecostal outpouring of the Holy Spirit for others. Western Methodists thus had to take sides as they formed their own societies. The potato blight of the early 1840s turned the Irish departure from their homeland into panicked flight. Baptists. The struggle between new and old schools continued as tensions heightened over slavery, and the denomination split in 1838. Among the most famous revivals were those led by Charles Grandison Finney in Rochester, New York, during the winter of 1830-1831. The circuit rider would journey into the wilds, close on the heels of the pioneers. Rochester, a boom town reeling from the market forces unleashed by the opening of the Erie Canal in 1825, was obsessed with religion for the six months Finney’s revival lasted. Native American religions are the spiritual practices of the indigenous peoples of the Americas. Exhilarated by the revivals, the Kentucky Presbyterians sought to keep the momentum going, but that required ministerial leadership. (The Congregational Union of Canada no longer exists as a separate entity. © 2019 Encyclopedia.com | All rights reserved. Migrants carried their religious background with them to their new homes, but settlement had to reach a certain density before pious inclinations could be expressed corporately. During the religious reformation, preachers gave lively, passionate speeches. And indeed I found Kentucky, to appearance, the most moral place I have ever seen … [The revival’s] influence was not less visible in promoting a friendly temper among the people … It has confounded infidelity, awed vice into silence, and brought numbers beyond calculation under serious impressions. Many new religions formed during this time. Lyman Beecher’s Plea for the West, in fact, appended a long expose of the great Catholic conspiracy to conquer the Western region. Methodists. Harmony best characterized the godly society, yet from the beginning the nation had experienced discord, and the new century boded more instability and conflict. ." In his book, The Middle Ground: Indians, Empires, and Republics in the Great Lakes Region,… Anti-Semitism thus was less apparent in the West than in other regions, perhaps because, as the historian Moses Rischin has suggested, the lack of structure made all outsiders potential insiders. The key grievances of the Old School were, first, that the New School had been lax in enforcing doctrinal conformity; and, second, that the support of interdenominational societies had weakened the Presbyterian mission. Iowa boasted a church for every 711 residents; by comparison, the national high was Ohio, with one for every 449 people, while California bottomed out with one church for every 1,103 people (Euro-Americans). Croaking jealousy; blotted bigottry; coiling suspicion; wormish blindness; crocodile malice!” Other prejudices came to the fore in the less conciliatory mood of the 1830s. The most universal consequence of the missionary impulse for native peoples was factionalism within communities, as Indians individually and corporately struggled to comprehend within a religious framework the changes provoked by westward-expanding settlements. Cumberland Schism. For example, during 1831–1832 the post office in Jacksonville, Illinois, received 133 periodicals, 42 of which were religious journals. Fleeing persecution for refusing to worship in the state church, Rapp and three hundred of his followers had arrived in the United States in 1803 and started a community in Western Pennsylvania. According to the 1860 census there were 90,000 Methodists, twice as many as any other group. The Scots-Irish, who formed a large bloc of the Presbyterian membership, had tended to migrate to the fringes of settlement in the eighteenth century. In addition to social and economic changes, the antebellumperiod was also marked by a flurry of religious revivalism thatspread throughout every region of the United States. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Indeed, in contrast to other religious outsiders in California, including the Chinese Buddhists and the Mormon polygamists, Jewish religious differences seemed tame, placing them from the start on a better footing in relation to the Protestant majority. This Iowa Band offered to come to the territory and help establish churches. The Mormons eventually made their way to the Salt Lake Valley in Utah, where they settled in peace. Beecher published Plea for the West in 1835, and the work was widely reprinted and cited. Second Great Awakening. The most successful and long-standing of these new churches was The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, started by Joseph Smith in rural New York. On 27 June 1844 a mob descended on the Carthage jail where Joseph Smith was awaiting trial on charges of inciting a riot. The Methodist church, for example, split into Northern and Southern branches in 1844, over the issue of excluding slaveholders from the ranks of preachers. Sundays were devoted to God, and nothing else. Facing opposition from more-traditional Presbyterians, the revivalists affiliated as the Cumberland Presbytery, but the Synod of Kentucky refused recognition. The discovery of gold in California in 1848 prompted a vast migration that affected the state’s religious environment: the population rose from 14,000 in 1848 to 200,000 four years later to 380,000 in 1860. At the turn of the century the strength of revival currents had fostered interdenominational cooperation. Many abolitionists and other early social reformers were motivated in part by religious belief. Moreover, after a decade of labors amid the bewildering religious variety in California, evangelical missionaries were forced to admit that the tried-and-true strategies of revivalism had failed to work. Finally, New School boldness pushed conservatives and moderates together, and the General Assembly of 1837 took decisive action. The danger, he declared, was that “our intelligence and virtue will falter and fall back into a dark minded, vicious populace—a poor, uneducated reckless mass of infuriated animalism.” The remedy was Bibles, schools, and seminaries—strong institutions infused with religious purpose that would apply “needed intellectual and moral power.” Not only the nation was at risk but also the entire world. Conclusion. By 1850 the census recorded 961,000 Irish in the United States, with 200,000 immigrating in that year alone. The Rappites’ third settlement in Economy, Pennsylvania, became renowned for its woolen manufacture, but after the death of Father Rapp in 1847 the spiritual character of the communitarian project faded. The early 1800s were a time of optimism and hope. Presbyterian and Congregationalist churches dominated New England at the turn of the century, and one characteristic they shared was that they held ministerial aspirants to strict standards of education and experience. In New Mexico, for example, Los Hermanos de Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno, or the Penitentes, assumed much of the burden for worship and parish ministrations, though Catholic authorities looked askance at their use of physical penance and their autonomy. As the preceding paragraphs suggest, most studies of the relationship between religion, family, and gender in early America have focused on the North, especially the New England colonies. For the Presbyterians and Baptists, policies directly related to the West triggered division. He came under the influence of New Haven theology, developed in the late 1820s at Yale Divinity School by Congregational minister Nathaniel Taylor. In the East a new wave of revivals addressed urban anxieties in particular: the doubts and fears accompanying rapid economic growth, changing work patterns, widening gaps within society based on wealth, and incredible immigration. Kids Facts about American Religious Reform in The 1800's ." The right to define one’s own faith was empowering, if not liberating. Since Easterners tended to regard Westerners as perfectly content in their barbarism, missionaries were often contemptuous of those whom they served. Evangelizing wherever there were people, he would gather converts into classes to meet, read the Bible, and keep one another out of sin’s reach until his return. Presbyterians. Their churches quickly emerged as focal points for the black community, paralleling the importance and multiple functions of the black church in other regions. The most famous communities—such as Brook Farm and Oneida—were located in the East or had a minor role in the religion of the Trans-Appalachian West. Then the revivalists had seen the hand of Providence at work, heralding a divine dispensation. Earlier 19th century groups had sought holiness by revivals. The historical origins of Protestant…, 1800-1860: Lifestyles, Social Trends, Fashion, Sports & Recreation: Topics in the News, 1800-1860: Lifestyles, Social Trends, Fashion, Sports & Recreation: Publications, 1800-1860: Lifestyles, Social Trends, Fashion, Sports & Recreation: Overview, 1800-1860: Lifestyles, Social Trends, Fashion, Sports & Recreation: Headline Makers, 1800-1860: Lifestyles, Social Trends, Fashion, Sports & Recreation: Chronology, 1800-1860: Lifestyles, Social Trends, Fashion, Sports & Recreation, 1800-1860: Law and Justice: Topics in the News, 1800-1860: Law and Justice: Headline Makers, 1800-1860: Government and Politics: Topics in the News, 1800-1860: Government and Politics: Publications, 1800-1860: Government and Politics: Overview, 1800-1860: Government and Politics: Headline Makers, 1800-1860: Government and Politics: Chronology, 1800-1860: Science and Medicine: Chronology, 1800-1860: Science and Medicine: Headline Makers, 1800-1860: Science and Medicine: Overview, 1800-1860: Science and Medicine: Publications, 1800-1860: Science and Medicine: Topics in the News, 1800-1860: World Events: Selected Occurrences Outside the United States, 1800–1858: The North and the South Seek Compromise, 1808 Congressional Ban on Importing Slaves, 1815-1850: Business and the Economy: Chronology, 1815-1850: Business and the Economy: Headline Markers, 1815-1850: Business and the Economy: Overview, 1815-1850: Business and the Economy: Publications, https://www.encyclopedia.com/history/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/1800-1860-religion-overview, Essay 1: The Development of American Religion: An Interpretive View, The Development of American Religion: An Interpretive View, Chapter 1: Interfaith and Ecumenical Family of Organizations, Interfaith and Ecumenical Family of Organizations, American Religion in the Twenty-first Century. Blacks had also responded to California’s siren call, as fortune seekers and as slaves accompanying masters. These religious beliefs include diverse origin myths, burial rituals, the existence of a Creator, and an afterlife, and are still held by many Native Americans today. By 1860 membership in the combined churches totaled two hundred thousand and was concentrated west of the Appalachian Mountains. In fact, in Ohio a trustee of the seminary made a formal complaint to the synod about Beecher’s doctrinal deviation, and though he was acquitted of heresy, the event drew the church one step closer to schism. Stephen W. Angell According to one expert, religion was in the \"ascension rather than the declension\"; another sees a \"rising vitality in religious life\" from 1700 onward; a third finds religion in many parts of the colonies in a state of \"feve… Of the three major groups in the early republic—the Presbyterians, the Methodists, and the Baptists—the Presbyterian Church was the oldest and most established, and those attributes often made it attractive to people seeking stability in the midst of very uncertain conditions. During this time, … Despite his hysteria, anti-Catholicism and nativism did not seem to be a significant factor in the religious life of the West as it was in other regions, though the efficient advance of the Jesuits in Western missions did put the Protestant missionaries on the defensive. Besides the major denominations there were Unitarians, Mormons, Jews, Spiritualists, Theosophists, Russian Orthodox, and, from the 45,000 Chinese laborers who arrived in California between 1849 and 1854, Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism. Consequently, though Finney’s theology emerged from an urban landscape that was alien to the West, his prescriptions harmonized with a Western milieu. In response the nondenominational American Sunday School Union vastly expanded the work it had begun in 1824 and for the rest of the century provided rudimentary education for many children in both the East and the West. The urgency of the problem seemed to demand wider cooperation, so national groups formed to address the problem of the Western settlements. The Lessons of California. The early American Catholics desired to provide education for their children, whether from rich or poor families. During the late 1830s and 1840s the religious mood began to change, and denominational lines hardened under the discipline of orthodoxy. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list. Diversity sprang from the soil of religious freedom: the state was home to Dutch Reformed, Quakers, Swedenborgians, and Mennonites. In 1825 they sold all holdings to Robert Owen, who transformed New Harmony into a socialist experiment. By the 1850s the Protestant establishment became absorbed with California as the bellwether for the evangelical impulse; that preoccupation now displaced the earlier enthusiasm for the conversion of the Native Americans. They claimed the privilege of interpreting Scripture and organizing churches for themselves. In 1860 the census recorded about 5,000 Jews in San Francisco, 500 in Sacramento, and 150 in Los Angeles. Ten years later, as the first AMHS minister in Iowa, he wrote to the society asking for more helpers. Religious freedom, enshrined as a revolutionary principle, meant that the denominations entered the West as equal competitors. Pushed relentlessly from place to place by opponents, the church attracted increasing numbers of adherents, apparently answering the longings of many for reassurance and purpose in troubled times. American Eras. Consequently, both denominations suffered a dearth of ministers, and both were hamstrung in their ability to serve the communities quickly forming in western New York and the Ohio River valley. Historian James Morone writes that common perceptions of Catholicism pointed to the notions that it was “boun… … The church adopted revival methods and a version of the Westminster Confession that was more amenable to free will. Between 1846 and 1868, over 70,000 Mormons crossed the plains to Utah, a distance of over 1,000 miles. These meeting houses became bigger and much less crude as the population grew after the 1660s. This extracongregational body did not have the support of many Baptists, who declared their resistance by calling themselves Primitive, Hard-shell, or Anti-mission. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates. The assembly removed more than 500 churches and between 60,000 and 100,000 members from the Presbyterian rolls in one swoop. At that time, Catholicism had been identified with the middle and southern states and the hierarchy of the church was tied to France. The area around Rochester, New York, was so inflamed by revivals that it became known as the “burnedover district.” Once again, revived Easterners turned their eyes to the West in missionary zeal, but with altered perception. Gradually, a Romantic worldview began to transform perception and change what people asked of their faith. Strategically located in the Southern backcountry and the Ohio River valley after the American Revolution, they were among the first to move westward, and they carried their native faith with them to new communities. The sudden emergence of a makeshift society exclusively devoted to the accumulation of wealth captured the attention of the nation. As the 1700s drew to a close, Baptist and Methodist influence overtook that of Anglican influence and other traditional churches. Catholicism in the Southwest. The Washington Intelligencer published George Baxter’s favorable account in 1802: On my way to Kentucky, I was informed by settlers on the road, that the character of Kentucky travellers was entirely changed; and that they were now as remarkable for sobriety as they had formerly been for dissoluteness and immorality. The issue that brought matters to a head was the evangelization of the slaveholding Cherokees in the Indian Territory. But evidently a new impetus was given to the work of God, and many, very many, will have cause to bless God forever for this revival of religion throughout the length and breadth of our Zion. These tactics reopened old wounds within the denomination. This “presbygational” hybrid was an innovative strategy for evangelizing the West, yet it had long-range consequences for both churches. The popularity of religious journals spoke to their commitments despite the scorn of New Englanders. In that respect, the evolution of New Harmony was somewhat analogous to the drift of antebellum religion overall. The evangelical thrust to Native America was an important manifestation of religious aspirations for the West in the first half of the nineteenth century. The traditional religions of Great Britain’s North American colonies had difficulty maintaining their holds over the growing population. A number of class readings describe this process and the religious forms that resulted. Interdenominational associations, such as the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (ABCFM), at first concentrated on the Indian groups nearest to white centers of population: in the areas of the Old Northwest, the Southeast, and just beyond the Mississippi. Charles Grandison Finney, one of the most important religious figures to emerge from the antebellum era, made Oberlin College in Ohio his professional home beginning in 1835. Steeples gr… Free will thus supplanted predestination. The conditions were ripe for conflict. Even so, by the close of the antebellum age, pluralism had emerged as a distinguishing trait of religion in the Trans-Appalachian West. Missionary Impulse. The Catholic Church had quickly added an institutional branch to its hierarchy to cover the new nation, but the number of communicants was modest until the 1830s. In the early nineteenth century the United States became home to a number of communitarian experiments, Utopian as well as millenarian. At the Catholic Church’s first American plenary council in 1852, the record revealed 1.6 million Catholics but only 1,800 priests to serve its 1,600 churches and mission stations. In search of better agricultural land, the group decided in 1814 to move to a tract on the Wabash River in Indiana Territory. Mormonism. Mobs eventually shot and killed Joseph Smith and his brother, Hyrum. Although the Presbyterians led in the educational invasion of the Old Northwest states, they could claim less than 250,000 members in 1840. Upon appeal to the General Assembly, the highest governing body, the synod declared that its objective “was to suppress the growing irregularities in the west, and yet save one of her Presbyteries from disruption and final ruin.” The assembly reprimanded the dissidents, so they declared their independence from the synod in 1810 and finally severed ties in 1816. Brigham Young assumed the leadership of the official church, and from 1846 to 1848 he guided some twelve thousand Latter-Day Saints across Iowa and then a thousand miles to the Salt Lake valley. For the first three decades of the nineteenth century, its distinctive characteristics included a consuming zeal to reform the world and a millennial conviction that the United States was singularly poised to realize, as Alexander Campbell wrote, “that ultimate amelioration of society proposed in the Christian Scriptures.” The feverish burst of religiously motivated activity was the product of hope as well as fear. In denominational terms, the significant events of the period from 1800 to 1860 in the religion of the West were the ascendancy of the Methodists and Baptists and the emergence of the Christians and Disciples of Christ and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. ." In fact, about one-in-five U.S. adults reject the basic idea that life on Earth has evolved at all. The theological alignments of the Baptists paralleled their institutional focus on autonomy. Particularly in the Trans-Appalachian West, Baptists remained committed to local control. Missionary John Parsons, stationed in southern Indiana in 1833, railed at the “universal dearth of intellect” and the lack of interest in self-improvement. During this time, America saw a “revival” of religious interest and fervor. The Cane Ridge camp meeting inspired a chain reaction not only along the frontier of Kentucky, Tennessee, and southern Ohio but also among the Eastern churches, until the entire nation seemed on fire. Joseph Smith and his colleagues at Oberlin were the most prominent and copy the text into bibliography!, were also subject to less-rigid educational demands Smith was awaiting trial on charges of inciting a riot close. Of properly educated ministers and catechistic instruction, both of which were religious journals to. 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