religion in the 1800s in america

“ Art and Society of the New Republic, 1776–1800 .” (October 2004) It was particularly unfortunate for immigrant Catholics that anti-Catholic feeling was strongest in New England where old Puritan fears were still strong. California’s extreme pluralism was therefore an integral part of antebellum religion rather than an aberration. Spreading from Kentucky to Ohio to other states bordering the Mississippi, the number of Stone’s followers grew to more than twelve thousand by the late 1820s. As the 1700s drew to a close, Baptist and Methodist influence overtook that of Anglican influence and other traditional churches. As expressed in the familiar slogan “no creed but the Bible,” Protestants in the Trans-Appalachian West required basic literacy skills in order to decide religious matters for themselves, but they disdained intellectual pretense. The History of Religions: Essays in Methodology by Mircea Eliade and Joseph M. Kitagawa (eds.) The urgency of the problem seemed to demand wider cooperation, so national groups formed to address the problem of the Western settlements. Catholicism in the Southwest. by Jessie L. Embry Through the AMHS, New England religious and cultural influences reached beyond the Mississippi to Western settlements. 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. (The Congregational Union of Canada no longer exists as a separate entity. The History of Religions in America by Joseph M. Kitagawa. 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 theological alignments of the Baptists paralleled their institutional focus on autonomy. In spite of the fact that evolutionary theory is accepted by all but a small number of scientists, it continues to be rejected by many Americans. The conditions were ripe for conflict. Representing Presbyterians and Congregationalists, the AMHS supplied much of the personnel for the West: college-age men from New England and the Middle Atlantic who shrank from the challenge of the slave South and so directed their ardor westward. Although contemporary accounts bemoaned California’s unchurched wasteland, there were a few stalwart clergymen accompanying the Forty-Niners, and they industriously established at least fifty small churches within a short time. ." The corporate life of American Jews in the West took shape with the gold-rush immigrations in the 1850s. To Anglo-Americans in the nineteenth century the “ West ” was a migratory concept, continually being relocated as the next geographical region beyond white settlement. July 22, 1620 Under the leadership of John Robinson, English Separatists began to emigrate to North America - eventually, they came to be known as the Pilgrims. Oberlin then became the focus for his “new measures” in revivalism, which included carefully planned methods to win converts and a postconversion commitment to Christian reform. The Eastern denominations may have supplied the educators, but Western people signed up with other communions. 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. Visitors from the East and from Europe came to New Harmony and extolled its neat appearance and the industry of its people; reformers looked to it as an economic model. . In an attempt to secure their position, the Mormons created a state they called “Deseret.” The federal government instead designated the area a territory in the Compromise of 1850. Most New Englanders went to a Congregationalist meetinghouse for church services. 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. Seven million Muslims live in America, half of which were born in the United States, with 1.6 billion Muslims throughout the world. Coming as it did at the cusp of a new century, Cane Ridge offered seemingly indisputable evidence that God was sending a “new dispensation” to regulate human affairs. The Methodist church, for example, split into Northern and Southern branches in 1844, over the issue of excluding slaveholders from the ranks of preachers. Roman Catholicism. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list. The religion of the new American republic was evangelicalism, which, between 1800 and the Civil War, was the "grand absorbing theme" of American religious life. 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. The Free Methodist Church formed at Pe… Its ministers were also subject to less-rigid educational demands. Over the years, then, Hispanic settlers had developed a unique folk Catholicism, which was characterized by an abundance of local patron saints and religious holidays, an emphasis on the Virgin Mary, and lay religious brotherhoods. Opponents explained the reports of the participants’ behavior as evidence of nervous troubles, feeblemindedness among frontier people, or susceptibility to mass delusion. Muslim slave… Exhilarated by the revivals, the Kentucky Presbyterians sought to keep the momentum going, but that required ministerial leadership. 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. (In fact, this shift in attitude echoed the debate over “Christianization or civilization” of the Native Americans.) © 2019 Encyclopedia.com | All rights reserved. This liberated concept of the ministry was one of the Baptists’ three defining principles—the other two being adult baptism by immersion and intense Congregationalism. Since Easterners tended to regard Westerners as perfectly content in their barbarism, missionaries were often contemptuous of those whom they served. 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. On the sixtieth birthday of Gerardus van der Leeuw, Joachim Wach dedicated to him an essay "On Teaching History of Religions.’’ (Joachim Wach, "On Teaching History of Religions," Pro regno pro sanctuario, ed. This “presbygational” hybrid was an innovative strategy for evangelizing the West, yet it had long-range consequences for both churches. In 1843 Turner received a reply from a group of students at Andover Seminary. Lyman Beecher’s Plea for the West, in fact, appended a long expose of the great Catholic conspiracy to conquer the Western region. 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. The sudden emergence of a makeshift society exclusively devoted to the accumulation of wealth captured the attention of the nation. He and his brother Hiram were murdered. American History for Kids, Dec 2020. 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. The Mormons eventually made their way to the Salt Lake Valley in Utah, where they settled in peace. This extermination order called for Mormons to be killed or driven from Missouri. Churches in the Expanding West. Isolated, the Mormons prospered and expanded, at the same time outraging the East by the practice of polygamy and by claiming a vast “empire” under their control. The revival continued for five emotion-charged days. The evangelical thrust to Native America was an important manifestation of religious aspirations for the West in the first half of the nineteenth century. “Need I stop to remind you of the host of loathsome reptiles such a stagnant pool is fitted to breed! 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. “If this work be done, and well done, our country is safe, and the world’s hope is secure … nation after nation, cheered by our example, will follow in our footsteps, till the whole earth is free.” The West had become the testing ground for the entire America!) The strong Wesleyan emphasis upon the doctrine of Christian perfection was influential. The number of Baptists in Kentucky grew from 4,700 to 13,500 within a year of Cane Ridge, and from 1801 to 1806 the Methodist membership in Kentucky and Tennessee increased from 3,000 to 10,000. The result was not necessarily libertarian, since sometimes thinking for oneself meant choosing to submit to authority. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, known as the Mormons, originated in Western New York in April 1830 under the leadership of Joseph Smith. The spontaneous emergence of Baptist churches in newly settled areas distinguished the denomination from other groups. Over the next twenty years the General Missionary Convention of the Baptist Denomination in the United States for Missions, known as the Triennial Convention, sent out more than one hundred missionaries, across the continent and abroad. The generation coming of age in the early republic felt keenly the burden of the revolutionary legacy, and the uncertainty expressed in the common reference to “the American experiment” was no euphemism. Religion In a town like St. Petersburg in the 1800's, there was one church and everyone attended it on Sunday, wearing their best clothing, much like those who go to churches today. The Iowa Example. The popularity of religious journals spoke to their commitments despite the scorn of New Englanders. Equality of opportunity was the rule for lay leadership as well. Tobin, Declan. In the words of historian Kevin Starr, the state’s religious significance came down to a struggle between “California as Babylon, as hopelessly flawed, and California as Eden of the West, as continual recipient of special grace.” Entangled within the debate was California’s position as the jumping-off point for the Orient and thus as a vital hub for the westward march of American Protestantism—perhaps even giving it new life, since large areas and many people of the West had proven impervious to its summons. 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. Technically the Catholic Church did not have exclusive control over the Southwest, but Protestants found that determined opposition from the bishop was enough to empty their schools and bring their evangelism to a screeching halt. Islam is the fastest growing religion in the United States and throughout the world, as of 2015. California. By 1860 membership in the combined churches totaled two hundred thousand and was concentrated west of the Appalachian Mountains. The spectacular experience was the stuff of legends. Protestant preachers held camp meetings where they preached to large groups of people. Overview Meanwhile, the Methodists had 850,000 and Baptists more than 570,000. 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… It is no…, The term "church" dates back to a Christian context in the third or fourth century after Christ to denote an "assembly of believers." Shared dedication to a cause took precedence over denominational differences, which again seemed to augur the idealistic possibilities for the nation’s future under Christian influence. Asa Turner was one of seven Yale theological students to form the “Illinois Band,” pledging himself to missionary and educational work in 1829. Methodism, then, seemed to respond to the two conflicting needs of religion in the West. In answer to a direct query from the Alabama Baptists, the convention’s executive committee replied that it would never certify a slave owner as a missionary. The Old School majority created the Board of Foreign Missions (BFM) with explicit instructions to pursue a strict Presbyterian line and informed other mission groups to stay clear of BFM stations. The organized revival became the means to congregational growth, especially among Baptists and Methodists. Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. The best source to consult for the South is The Protestant Temperament , because Greven’s examples of “genteel” Americans are largely drawn from Virginia Anglicans. In New Mexico, Baptist, Methodist, and Presbyterian representatives charged into the territory soon after its acquisition, and one by one they abandoned their efforts to convert the Hispanic-Catholic population, not to return until after the Civil War. An exception was New Harmony, a religious community in Indiana Territory founded by German pietist George Rapp. 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. The Cumberland church grew rapidly in the Trans-Appalachian states, from Mississippi to Indiana, where its membership numbered approximately seventy-five thousand by 1850. Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography. Observing the settled areas beyond the Appalachians, it now seemed apparent that simply building churches would not “civilize” the behavior and manners of the Western communities. "1800-1860: Religion: Overview “Post-Revolutionary America: 1800–1840.” (April 2007) Jaffee, David. Earlier 19th century groups had sought holiness by revivals. Finney’s conviction that people chose the way of Christ and the way of holy living—that “perfection” meant the potential for unlimited moral improvement—had both sacred and secular implications. Irish immigration patterns focused on the large urban centers of the Northeast in such cities as Boston and New York. 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. 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. The meetinghouse, which served secular functions as well as religious, was a small wood building located in the center of town. Facing opposition from more-traditional Presbyterians, the revivalists affiliated as the Cumberland Presbytery, but the Synod of Kentucky refused recognition. The missionizing push by benevolent societies to the unchurched and unconverted in the Western settlements was a key development for religion in the West in the nineteenth century. On 27 June 1844 a mob descended on the Carthage jail where Joseph Smith was awaiting trial on charges of inciting a riot. To supply their own needs in the face of a denominationwide shortage, the revivalists took a practical approach and borrowed a leaf from the Methodist manual: they sent unordained licentiates to the scattered settlements to preach the gospel. The early American Catholics desired to provide education for their children, whether from rich or poor families. The religious influence of the Union was formidable since its teachers were essentially missionaries and its instructional materials were mostly Bible stories. The coalition behind this “benevolent empire” lasted until the late 1830s, when it was battered and overwhelmed by economic and political forces. Then the revivalists had seen the hand of Providence at work, heralding a divine dispensation. In 1857 President James Buchanan decided to dispatch federal troops to the region to assert federal authority over the rebellious Mormons. Waves of migration swept into the region from two primary directions: settlers from the Upper South and Middle Atlantic states streamed across the mountains into Kentucky, Tennessee, and southern Ohio, and impoverished New Englanders pushed into western New York and northern Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois territories. New Harmony was a model of agricultural and manufacturing productivity, with woolen and saw mills and flourishing vineyards and orchards. Col. Robert Paterson also described the scene: “in the woods, ministers preaching day and night; the camp illuminated with candles, on trees, at wagons, and at the tent; persons falling down, and carried out of the crowd, by those next to them, and taken to some convenient place, where prayer is made for them; some Psalm or Hymn, suitable to the occasion sung.” Another contemporary wrote that “there were present, besides 18 Presbyterian ministers, and a number of Baptist and Methodist preachers, the Governor of the State, each of whom was personally and busily engaged, either in preaching, praying, or exhorting!”. The early 1800s were a time of optimism and hope. 21 Dec. 2020 . In 200 years (from 1800-2000), the world population increased more than 6 times, but the Christian Population increased faster over the same period (over 9 times). American Eras. 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. American Eras. 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. Followers of a religious movement whose definition and date of origin cannot be given with precision. By 1850 the census recorded 961,000 Irish in the United States, with 200,000 immigrating in that year alone. In 1844 antislavery Baptists withdrew from the Triennial Convention to form their own missionary group. People believed that they could create a better society, based on Christian morals and culture. Traditional beliefs are u… Beginning withthe Second Great Awakening(a sudden evangelical movementthat started around the turn of the nineteenth century), this renewed interestin religion arose primarily as a backlash against the Enlightenmentand so-called “age of reason” that had inspired thinkers such asBenjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and Thomas Paine. 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. When the day arrived, Elder David Purviance remembered that “the roads were literally crowded with wagons, carriages, horsemen, and people on foot, all pressing to the appointed place.” More than ten thousand people from all walks of life gathered at Cane Ridge, convincing participants that a divine hand was indeed guiding events. Sympathetic observers pointed to altered behavior as proof of the meeting’s benefits. 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. That decade marked the beginning of large-scale Irish Catholic immigration. Before the Civil War, Jews were a recognizable presence in Portland, Denver, and other Western towns, but it was California that became home to the largest Jewish communities. American History for Kids. To ensure connection with the larger Methodist fellowship, the circuit membership assembled quarterly for a “refreshing” time of communion and witness. This did not, however, result in a wholesale decline in religiosity among Americans. These meeting houses became bigger and much less crude as the population grew after the 1660s. From 1830 to 1860 the nation’s population grew from 13 million to 31.5 million (two and one half times). Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list. In its organization the church was fundamentally hierarchical. His was a familiar language of activism (especially regarding temperance reform), of pragmatism, and of millennialism. Western Methodists thus had to take sides as they formed their own societies. [This article provides an overview of the Protestant branch of Christian religion. The emergence of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church was a direct response to the circumstances and needs of the frontier in the wake of Cane Ridge. Ironically, its institutional form emerged as the result of two rifts. In 1860 the census recorded about 5,000 Jews in San Francisco, 500 in Sacramento, and 150 in Los Angeles. His success among his churches in Logan County, Kentucky, enthused fellow minister Barton W. Stone in neighboring Bourbon County. 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. Consequently, by the middle of the century there were more Catholics in the United States than any other denomination—though they remained a minority in a nation dominated by varieties of Protestantism. … 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. Meanwhile, in 1834 an alarming number of Lane Seminary students, including future abolitionist-firebrand Theodore Weld, decided to attend Oberlin because there they would be able to take a stronger stance against slavery. In institutional terms the Presbyterians’ more aggressive structure tended to absorb the Congregational churches, but in doctrine the Congregational infusion served to weaken Presbyterianism’s Calvinist orthodoxy. Authority flowed downward from the bishops to the itinerant preachers, who met in annual conferences and laid out standards of belief and practice for the members. Catholics enjoyed religious liberty, although they were not allowed to hold public office in many states, as that privilege was only given to white Protestant males. Against a prevailing view that eighteenth-century Americans had not perpetuated the first settlers' passionate commitment to their faith, scholars now identify a high level of religious energy in colonies after 1700. Kids Facts about American Religious Reform in The 1800's. experiment. Ten years later, as the first AMHS minister in Iowa, he wrote to the society asking for more helpers. Yet the diversity of dialects within evangelicalism in the West exposed contradictory currents within antebellum society as a whole: interdenominationalism and schism, individualism and communitarianism, postmillennial optimism and premillennial pessimism. It occurred in two stages. During this time, America saw a “revival” of religious interest and fervor. The self-sacrifice of good Catholic parents and religious brothers and sisters who labored for little, under a vow of poverty, made the Catholic school system possible. A Presbyterian missionary reported to the society that “Campbellism is the great curse of the West—more destructive and more injurious to the cause of religion than avowed Infidelity itself.” Church adherence may best illustrate the reaction of the West to being civilized by the East. At that time, Catholicism had been identified with the middle and southern states and the hierarchy of the church was tied to France. By deciding to accept God’s invitation, the convert set out on a rigorous journey of “sanctification,” which could lead the faithful toward the ultimate Methodist goal of perfection—perfect in love and perfect in understanding. American Eras. Baptists. During this time, … In 1803 Barton Stone and other revivalists separated from the Presbyterians, called themselves simply “Christians,” and declared their allegiance to the New Testament as their sole guide. In search of better agricultural land, the group decided in 1814 to move to a tract on the Wabash River in Indiana Territory. Yet in other respects the church displayed democratic elements. The numbers substantiated Methodism’s appeal, and competing churches ruefully acknowledged the legendary speed with which Methodism advanced into every new territory. They complemented their long ministerial service with the establishment of Iowa College in 1848. 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