The Second Great Awakening and the Age of Reform

In antebellum America, a religious revival called the Second Great Awakening resulted in thousands of conversions to evangelical religions. Itinerant preachers, such as Charles Granison Finney, traveled from town to town, lecturing to crowds about eradicating sin in the name of perfectionism. Camp meetings, or large religious gatherings, also gave the devout opportunities to practice their religion and for potential conversions of non-believers. In addition to a religious movement, other reform movements such as temperance, abolition, and women's rights also grew in antebellum America. The temperance movement encouraged people to abstain from consuming alcoholic drinks in order to preserve family order. The abolition movement fought to abolish slavery in the United States. The women's rights movement grew from female abolitionists who realized that they too could fight for their own political rights. In addition to these causes, reforms touched nearly every aspect of daily life, such as restricting the use of tobacco and dietary and dress reforms.

National Endowment for the HumanitiesWe the PeopleAmerican Antiquarian SocietyOld Sturbridge VillagesWorcester Public SchoolsAssumption College