Effects of Postmillennialism during the Second Great Awakening
The Second Great Awakening (SGA) emphasized evangelism and reform. These reforms took various shapes, including legal, cultural and historical. This new, nonsectarian reform contrasted sharply with religion in Colonial America, where religious conflict was relatively common and the modern concepts of religious tolerance were much less common. This changed following the revolution, and religious tolerance reached a new high along with secularism, but these violent struggles between Protestants did not emerge again during the SGA, even as religiosity became more important. Widespread beliefs in postmillennial eschatology likely played a role in helping Protestants see each other as allies. Also of great importance was those who would pose a threat to the Protestant millennium, primarily Catholics. The anti-Catholic sentiment was more powerful because of this reform movement during the SGA and the perceived threat Catholics posed to an established Protestant America. While other religious groups would have been suspected as well, Catholics were the largest religious minority and the most politically active. The spread of postmillennial thought during the Second Great Awakening made Protestants become more tolerant of different Protestant sects and drove reform efforts, while simultaneously increasing hostility to Catholics and increasing nativism.
LicenseAuthors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).