Theme: What were the causes, characteristics, and consequences of the Second Great Awakening?

Evangelicalism, Revivalism, and the Second Great Awakening (Divining America, National Humanities Center)

Began around 1800
Democratized American religion—as voting was being democratized
Rejected doctrine of predestination

A. On the frontier: West and South

Focus on individual salvation; no impulse to reform society

1. Camp meetings

Attended by thousands
Cane Ridge (1801): 10,000 participants

Cane Ridge Revival Kentucky (Google Images)

Cane Ridge Meeting House
Plus: The Great Revival

2. Circuit riders

Methodist Circuit Riders (Google Images)

Nothing but Crows and Methodist Preachers

B. In the north

Congregationalists and Presbyterians
Small to medium-sized towns
Northern revivals led to an impulse to reform society

Charles G. Finney

Key name in Second Great Awakening

Charles Finney (God in America, PBS)

New York lawyer
Converted (1821)
Finney became a full–time evangelist
"I have a retainer from Jesus to plead his case"
Focused initially on the small towns in western New York.

Arminianism==Free will
A more democratic version of Christianity than predestination.
Any person who wanted to be saved could be saved.

Finney's evangelistic approach

Was controversial for its time:

a. Protracted meetings. Revivals continued nightly for a week or more.

b. Anxious bench

"Almost saved" would sit up front
Made an object of special prayer.

c. Women allowed to speak aloud and pray for male relatives

Converts organized into voluntary associations

1810—Foreign Missions Board

Students at Williams College: Haystack Prayer Meeting

1816—American Bible Society—distributed Bibles in the West

1825—American Tract Society—to seamen and urban poor


We should all ask ourselves the question: Would I have been an abolitionist?

Compare to feelings about immigration these days.

Antislavery was not a unified movement at first

Its adherents differed over several issues:
  • a. How hard to push the issue
  • b. The rights of women
  • c. The place of free blacks in American society

The issue of slavery eventually became so compelling that it consumed all the other reforms we have discussed.

Gradual emancipation:

1. American Colonization Society (founded in 1816)

2. Advocated gradual emancipation of former slaves

3. Suggested resettlement in Africa

4. Liberia was set up for this purpose

Map of Africa showing location of Liberia:

Its capital, Monrovia, named for President James Monroe

Immediate emancipation

Immediatism surpassed gradualism as dominant anti-slavery approach
  • a. Immediate—right now
  • b. Complete—no other labor contract
  • c. Uncompensated—owners not paid a thing

Contrast between:
"old" abolitionism: American Colonization Society
"new" abolitionism: Garrison and American Anti–Slavery society

American Anti-Slavery Society (Ohio History online)

William Lloyd Garrison

William Lloyd Garrison

Garrison was a white abolitionist

He argued for immediate emancipation

His newspaper, The Liberator, began publication in 1831

Women abolitionists
  • Women more prominent in abolition than other movements
  • Women could not vote
  • Women expected to "keep their place" in the background

Angelina and Sarah Grimke

White daughters of a South Carolina slave owner
Moved to the North
Became involved in anti-slavery and women's rights
Attacked the concept of subordination of women to men

Free blacks

Almost 250,000 in south by 1860

Highly discriminated against by whites
Legal status somewhere between slave and free
Whites feared free blacks would lead slave uprisings
States enacted "Black codes" to control movement of free blacks

Black abolitionists

Much of abolitionism was run by free blacks

By 1830, blacks had organized some 50 abolitionist societies

Notable free blacks:

1. Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglas
Noted escaped slave
Famous for his Autobiography

Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass (Africans in America)

2. Harriet Tubman: "the Moses of her people"

Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman (Africans in America)

3. Sojourner Truth: "Ain't I a woman"

Sojourner Truth

Sojourner Truth (National Women's Rights Historical Park)

Underground Railroad:


Underground Railroad (Africans in America)

Women abolitionists:
  • Women more prominent in abolition than other movements
  • Women could not vote
  • Women expected to "keep their place" in the background

American antislavery movement split over women's participation:
One group: ok for women to speak to mixed gender audiences
Other group: not ok

Angelina and Sarah Grimke

White daughters of a South Carolina slave owner
Moved to the North
Became involved in anti-slavery and women's rights
Attacked the concept of subordination of women to men

Angelina and Sarah Grimke

Opposition to abolitionists:

Murder of Elijah Lovejoy

Many white Americans violently opposed abolitionism
They did not want to compete with freed blacks
Hostile whites threatened abolitionist editors and speakers
An example of this opposition was the murder of Elijah Lovejoy
He was a white abolitionist newspaper editor
Murdered by a mob in Alton, Illinois (1837).

Northerners outraged:
Not because they supported abolition
But because they wanted to preserve free speech

In the South, mobs blocked distribution of antislavery pamphlets

Elijah Lovejoy killed by a pro-slavery mob (Library of Congress)

Gag rule

Many Northern church women signed anti-slavery petitions
Sent these petitions to Congress

From 1836 to 1844, Congress refused even to open or read the petitions
Southerners were happy

Northerners felt their free speech was violated.

The House “Gag Rule” | US House of Representatives


All Night Forever (Ken Burns Civil War video)

North American slave trade

Map showing where slaves came from and to where they were sold:

Slavery and sugar shifted focus of world economy from Asia and the Mediterranean to the Atlantic.
Being black did not initially mean being a slave.
By the 1670s, mainland colonists imported large numbers of Africans
Only a few Quakers had any moral problem with using slaves.
Slave trade made many merchants wealthy.

The middle passage: voyage from Africa to America.

John Newton, author of the hymn Amazing Grace, was a slave trader who converted to Christianity.

Slavery in the South

By 1720, Africans were 20% of overall population.

Relationship between the large number of slaves in South Carolina and the survival of African culture.

Gospel According to Gullah (Los Angeles Times)

Slavery in the north

North had fewer slaves (personal servants; dock workers)
In some cities, slaves 10 % of population.
Low northern slave population accentuated differences with South

Description of the South

Old South or Antebellum South (before the Civil War) (1800-1860)

North grew and changed

South just grew
  • Remained a rural, agrarian society
  • Thin population distribution
  • Few cities
  • Small number of factories

Rise of the Cotton South

Three factors increased the growth of slave–supplied cotton plantations:

1. Cotton gin

[before gin:10 hours for 1 pound; after: 1000 pounds/day]

Eli Whitney's Cotton Gin (Africans in America)

2. Short–staple cotton

3. English and northern U.S. textile factories need for cotton

Southern society

Remember: Some 75% of white southern families owned NO slaves at all.
But the slave society influenced all aspects of southern culture.
Planters. Most planters owned fewer than 10 slaves. Big planters set the tone for southern society.

Planter paternalism

Men treated both women and slaves in a domineering manner
Racism in the master–slave relationship
Sexism in the male–female relationship

Women raised to be wife, mother, and subordinate companion to men
Wives helped oversee the plantation household

Wives had to tolerate husbands' sexual infidelities with female slaves

Life on a plantation (Slavery and the Making of America)

Black codes

Slaveholders saw free blacks as potential instigators of rebellion
Southern states wanted free blacks to move away to the North

Black codes regulated free blacks who remained in the South

Black codes required
  • Black skilled laborers to be licensed
  • Banned blacks form specific jobs (such as river boat captains)
  • Forbade blacks to assemble in public
  • Prohibited teaching blacks to read and write

Slave life

Food generally adequate, but plain and monotonous
Slaves owned few clothes and lived in small, one–room cabins

Slaves worth more healthy than sick
Women as child bearers were particularly valuable to owner

Slaves treated as property:
Pledged for a debt
Gambled away in a card game

White crimes against slaves went unpunished
Slaves could not testify against whites

Enslavement (The Making of African-American Identity, National Humanities Center)

Slave work routine

1. House slaves

2. Field slaves
Most field slaves worked in the gang system
White overseer: compensated on how much he produced
Black slave drivers: foremen to keep down dissension

3. Some slaves worked the task system
In urban settings and on some rice plantations
Assigned daily tasks to complete at their own pace
Remainder of the time was their own

4. Slave hire system
Some skilled slaves were able to hire themselves out
They could keep most of their wages
Often used proceeds to purchase their freedom

The Varieties of Slave Labor (National Humanities Center)

Slave religion

Most white southerners were religious
Most believed they should help slaves become Christians
[I wonder how prevalent Islam was among slaves.]

But they did so on their own terms
Whites used religion as a form of control:
God commanded slaves to serve and obey their masters

Slaves felt there must be a real Bible somewhere
One not written by their white owners

Many whites unwilling to accept slaves as brothers and sisters in Christ.

Christianity helped slaves cope with bondage
Slaves used religion as a refuge
Inner sense of personal worth and dignity
Slaves hoped for deliverance from bondage
Surely in heaven but hopefully in this lifetime

Slave Religion (Slavery and the Making of America)

Slave family life

Slaves tried to be monogamous
Slave marriages had no legal basis
Slaves still had marriage ceremonies
Vows were changed to "till death or distance do us part"

Family was central to slave life
Worst fear was family separation by sale
At any moment, the master could
a. Sell a slave husband or wife
b. Die in debt, forcing a division of his property
c. Give a slave child away as a wedding present

Husbands tried to provide for their wife and children
Could not protect the females from sexual exploitation by the master

How Slavery Affected African American Families (National Humanities Center)

Slave attitudes toward whites

Most slaves suspicious of white motives
Slaves hated their oppression
Whites stereotyped slaves as docile Sambos

To keep from being whipped
Slaves learned to act subservient
Slaves spoke respectfully to their masters

Slave resistance

Few violent rebellions
Whites had firepower, slave patrols, militia, and federal troops

Slave Resistance (National Humanities Center)

Slaves tried to preserve mental independence and self–respect

Coping mechanisms
  • Trickster tales
  • Nonviolent forms of resistance
  • Stealing food
  • Temporarily running away
  • Slacking off at work

The Trickster in African American Literature (National Humanities Center)

Nat Turner slave rebellion in Virginia (1831)

Turner an educated black lay preacher
Key slave rebellion—a violent one
Caused an intense white reaction in the south

Nat Turner

Virginia legislature slavery debate (1832)

White advocates of gradual abolition of slavery forced a debate
Arguing that slavery was injurious to Virginia's modernization
Motion favoring abolition lost
Last public debate on slavery in the antebellum South

THE 1850S

Crucial interplay of several factors

Acquisition of new territories turned slavery into a major constitutional standoff between 1848-1861.

Slavery's existence and territorial expansion

Should new states be slave or free?
"If slavery was the sore spot in the body politic, territorial disputes were salt rubbed into the wound."

Frames of reference of North and South toward each other:

Northerners: feared an evil Southern Slave Power wanting to take over U.S.
Southerners: felt that northerners were all abolitionists--wanting to oppress the South

A North–South division was deepening
Slavery in the territories colored every other national issue
The first sectional battle of the decade involved California
California's request to enter Union as free state caused political conflict
Compromise of 1850 became a temporary armistice in the slavery issue

Compromise of 1850

Major provisions of the Compromise of 1850:

Compromise of 1850 (Sound Smart)

a. California entered the Union as a free state

California becomes the 31st state in record time ( This Day in History | 9/9/1850)

b. Popular sovereignty allowed in Utah & New Mexico Territories

Let the people in each state decide on whether they would permit slavery.

Popular Sovereignty (US

c. Trading and auction of slaves abolished in Washington, D.C.

Slavery itself was still permitted

d. Fugitive Slave Act

Stronger than past ones
Citizens must help capture and return runaway slaves
Suspected runaways denied trial by jury

The Compromise of 1850 and the Fugitive Slave Act (Africans in America)

Harriet Beecher Stowe

Famous as the author of Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852).

Harriet Beecher Stowe's portrait of slave suffering made southerners mad.

Her book a reaction to Fugitive Slave Act

Video: Who is Harriet Beecher Stowe?

Harriet Beecher Stowe (God in America)

Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852)

Uncle Tom's Cabin's_Cabin

Slave narratives and Uncle Tom's Cabin

Southern defense of slavery: George Fitzhugh

Southern slaves better off than northern workers
Northern workers were "wage" slaves
Worked harder than Southern slaves
Were laid off if they got sick or too old

George Fitzhugh (Africans in America)

Missouri Compromise (1820)

(1) Missouri was admitted as a slave state and Maine (formerly part of Massachusetts) as free

(2) except for Missouri, slavery was to be excluded from the Louisiana Purchase lands north of
latitude 36°30'.

Kansas-Nebraska Act (1854)

Kansas-Nebraska Act undid the Missouri Compromise which set the 36°30' line of latitude to be the separation of free and slave states

Senator Stephen Douglas
Introduced a bill to establish the Kansas and Nebraska territories.
Wanted Chicago to be the terminus of a transcontinental railroad;
No railroad would build through unorganized land.
He needed southern votes
The bill used the popular sovereignty formula
Effectively implied repeal of the Missouri Compromise.

Shifting Political Landscape
Three great maps: Missouri Compromise, Compromise of 1850, Kansas-Nebraska Act

Bleeding Kansas

Popular sovereignty feature of the Kansas–Nebraska Act
Civil war erupted in Kansas between
Those who wanted to bring slavery to Kansas
Those who wanted to prevent slavery there.

Bleeding Kansas (Sound Smart)

Bleeding Kansas

Republican party (1854)

New party—not connected to the earlier Jeffersonian Republican party.
Formed in reaction to the Kansas–Nebraska Act.
A purely sectional third party based in the North.
Dedicated to keeping slavery out of the territories.

New party—not connected to the earlier Jeffersonian Republican party
A purely sectional third party based in the North
Dedicated to keeping slavery out of the territories

Nativism: American Party=Know Nothings

Know-Nothing Party

Sumner–Brooks incident (1856)

Sen. Charles Sumner (Mass.) an abolitionist
His antislavery remarks an insult to Rep. Preston Brooks (S.C.)
Brooks beat Sumner with a cane—in Senate chamber

South seemed to condone violence to have its way
South sent Brooks more canes
Northerners shocked at this southern assault on free speech

The Caning of Senator Charles Sumner (US Senate)

Dred Scott decision (1857)

Supreme Court attempted to decide issue of slavery in the territories
Five of the nine Supreme Court justices were southerners

Dred Scott case (Sound Smart)

The case ruled as follows:
  • Blacks could not be U.S. citizens
  • Congress could not prohibit slavery in a territory
  • This implied a repeal of the Missouri Compromise
  • South delighted; North outraged

Compare to Supreme Court involvement in 2000 presidential election

Supreme Court Rules Against Dred Scott (Finding Dulcinea, On This Day)

Panic of 1857 (Today in History, Library of Congress)

Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858

Lincoln-Douglass Debates
Who: Abraham Lincoln, challenger, Republican
Free Soil, slavery should not be permitted in territories
Slavery a moral evil

Stephen Douglass, incumbent US Senator from Illinois, Democrat
Popular sovereignty should decide
Did not declare slavery a moral evil

What: 7 debates within Illinois
When: 1858 US Senatorial election
Where: Illinois
Why: How to deal with the possible spread of slavery
How: First speaker one hour; rebuttal hour and a half; first speaker half hour
Result: Douglass was re-elected to the US Senate

The Lincoln-Douglas Debates Begin (Finding Dulcinea, On This Day)

John Brown at Harpers Ferry (1859)

John Brown had slain proslavery settlers in Bleeding Kansas
Using both whites & blacks, John Brown attacked federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry
Brown hoped to arm slaves and trigger a slave rebellion
Brown failed: captured, tried, and executed
Northern abolitionists saw him as a Jesus figure
South bothered by this adulation; thought all northerners endorsed him

John Brown (Africans in America)

The raid on Harpers Ferry

John Brown: America's First Terrorist? (National Archives magazine)

Election of 1860

Lincoln got no southern electoral votes but still won the election.

Lincoln's analysis
"You in the south think slavery is right and ought to be expanded. We think it is wrong and ought to be restricted."

Abraham Lincoln Elected President (Finding Dulcinea, On This Day)

Secession of the South from the United States

Secession of South Carolina (December 20, 1860)

After South Carolina, came two waves of secession:

a) Deep South: Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas

b) Upper South: Arkansas, Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia

Several slave states remained committed to the North:
Missouri, Kentucky, Maryland, Delaware

Map of secession:

Confederate States of America

Confederacy was a separate country for these four years.

It had problems similar to those of the Articles of Confederation government we studied earlier.

Jefferson Davis chosen as President of the Confederate States of America.

Jefferson Davis Elected (Today in History, Library of Congress)

Capital of the Confederacy

Initially in Montgomery, Alabama.
Then moved for remainder of war to Richmond, Virginia.

Civil War (1861-1865)

Fort Sumter (South Carolina)

Lincoln decided to resupply the federal fort in Charleston harbor.

Confederates fired on the fort and thereby began the Civil War.

War aims

North: Preserve the Union. Not free the slaves

South: Preserve slavery==the southern way of life

Names used to describe each side:

North=Federals=Yankees=Union=Billy Yank=Blue

South=Confederates=Rebels=Secessionists=Johnny Reb=Gray

Key Leader/Generals for the North:

1. Abraham Lincoln

2. Ulysses Grant

3. William Tecumseh Sherman

4. George Meade

5. George McClellan

Key Leaders/Generals for the South: Confederate States of America (CSA)

1. Jefferson Davis

2. Robert E. Lee

3. Stonewall Jackson

4. J.E.B. Stuart

Civil War: comparisons of the opposing sides

Interactive Map: America on the Eve of the Civil War

a. Northern advantages:

1. Larger population

2. Greater industrial production

3. More railroads and canals

b. Southern advantages:

1. Greater emotion

2. Excellent military commanders

3. Better cavalry at the beginning of the war

Union military strategy

Anaconda plan:

a. Advance along the Mississippi
b. Pressure on Richmond and Virginia
c. Union naval blockade

Confederate military strategy

Offensive defensive:

a. Attack when possible
b. Mostly play defense
c. Use interior lines of transportation
d. Concentrate its forces at crucial points of Union attack

What else could the Confederates have done to win the war?

Union diplomatic strategy:

Lincoln tried hard to prevent Britain and France from aiding the Confederacy

Trent Affair:

A Union ship stopped the British ship Trent at sea and took off two Confederate diplomats James Mason and John Slidell. Britain protested. Eventually, the North released the two men.

Trent Affair (Historian of the State Department)

Confederate diplomatic strategy

"King Cotton" diplomacy

Hoped that Britain and France would aid South to get southern cotton
It did not happen
Both countries developed other supply sources

Military Life

a. Soldiers had to deal with mass violence, live on little food and sleep, and endure all kinds of weather.

b. Rifle and the minie ball. Straight–ahead charges were stupid in light of the more effective killing range of the rifle and the power of the minie ball.

The life of a Civil War soldier (North Carolina Digital History)

Civil War camp life

Women in the Civil War

Women soldiers in the Civil War (National Archives magazine)

Black Union soldiers

Racism in the Union army was strong.
Black soldiers in the Union army (120,000) fought for acceptance from their white comrades

Religion in the Civil War

A. Was God on the side of the North?
Religion in the North during the Civil War (National Humanities Center)

1. Special place of America in world history
2. Northern victory as a prelude to the millennium
3. Slavery.

B. Was God mad at the South because of slavery?
Religion in the South during the Civil War (National Humanities Center)

South believed it was more religious and God-fearing than the North.
Role of Stonewall Jackson as a pious example

Emancipation of the slaves

a. Lincoln's approach

Hoped to achieve a peace treaty compromise with the South
Tried to balance conflicting parts of his Republican party coalition
Radical Republicans wanted immediate emancipation
Others (especially border slave states) did not
Set his priority to preserve the Union, not end slavery
But needed to keep Britain and France from aiding the Confederacy

The Civil War and emancipation (Africans in America)

b. Jefferson Davis's approach

Preserving Confederate independence was the key
Would free the slaves if it preserved Confederate independence
An effort was made to emancipate: too little, too late

Major Battles of the Civil War

Map of the Civil War, 1861-1862

Map of the Civil War, 1863-1865

Bull Run (July 1861)

South won.
"Stonewall" Jackson got his nickname.

Stonewall Jackson profile

Battle of Bull Run (Johnny Horton)

Shiloh (April 1862)

Union barely won.
Large casualties revealed the horrible nature of modern warfare.

Antietam (September 1862)

Battle a draw.
First time South invaded North.
Antietam and Gettysburg the only major battles outside the South.

Fredericksburg (December 1862)

Union lost big.

Made 14 charges against well–entrenched Confederates.

Chancellorsville (May 1863)

Confederates won battle.

But lost their great general, Stonewall Jackson, who was killed by friendly fire.

Stonewall Jackson Shot by His Own Men at Chancellorsville

Vicksburg (July 1863)

Union victory.
Union gained complete control of Mississippi River.
Western part of Confederacy cut off.

Gettysburg (July 1863)

Second time South invaded North.
Union victory.
"High tide" of Confederacy.
Pickett's charge
Turning point of the war for the South.

Ist day: Union took the high ground; Jeb Stuart's cavalry arrived too late.

2nd day: Rebels tried to take Big and Little Round Tops but Union held.

3rd day: Pickett's hopeless charge against the middle of Union lines.

Battle of Gettysburg Begins (Finding Dulcinea, On This Day)

Gettysburg Address

President Lincoln Delivers Gettysburg Address (Finding Dulcinea, On This Day)

Battle of Atlanta (July 1864)

Union victory.

Ensured Lincoln's reelection.

Sherman's March through Georgia (March to the sea) (November-December 1864)

Union victory
Sherman operated in deep South
Across Georgia: Atlanta to Savannah
Destroyed everything in a path 50 miles wide, 200 miles long


Sherman's March to the Sea (Eyewitness to History)

Marching through Georgia
Music: Tennessee Ernie Ford

Appomattox (9 April 1865)

Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered to Union General Ulysses S. Grant

When Johnny comes marching home

Lincoln assassination: 14 April 1865

Legacy of the Civil War

Total deaths 620,000===(360,000 North; 260,000 South)

The vacant chair: Kathy Mattea

Four million slaves in the South were free. What to do about them?

Reconstruction (1865-1877)

Place of ex-slaves in southern society

Four million slaves in the South were free. What to do about them?

The civil rights movement led by Martin Luther King, Jr., has been called the Second Reconstruction.

Consider also the powerful feelings that arise even today over the issue of affirmative action.

Reconstruction Plans:

How to bring the Southern states back into America

Post World War II comparison: former Nazi leaders

Prodigal son comparison [Luke 15:11-32 NIV]

Presidential Reconstruction Plans

a. Lincoln's Reconstruction Plan

Lincoln was assassinated (April 1865)

Andrew Johnson took over
From Tennessee
Former slave owner himself

Abraham Lincoln-John Kennedy comparisons

b. Johnson's Reconstruction Plan

Northerners hoped he would remove Old South leaders from power
Through most of 1865, Johnson alone controlled Reconstruction policy
Congress recessed shortly before he became President (April)
Congress did not meet again until December 1865
Congress angered at lenient presidential Reconstruction policy

Congress attempted (unsuccessfully) to impeach Johnson

Congressional reconstruction plan

Congress believed it had constitutional role in Reconstruction
Congress controlled by Republican party
Congressional Republicans wanted the Southern states that came back into the Union to be Republican

Radical Republicans (former abolitionists) wanted to go farther than most
They wanted to transform southern society (sort of like the issue today of "nation building")

Keep out Southern states until this transformation

Election of 1876/Compromise of 1877

On This Day: Rutherford B. Hayes Named Winner Over Samuel Tilden in 1876 Presidential Election

This so-called Compromise of 1877 effectively ended Reconstruction