Religion and the Founding of the American Republic

By James H. Hutson | Go to book overview

SEVEN RELIGION AND THE NEW REPUBLIC

The plain, cheap meeting houses that, in the early nineteenth century, dominated the landscape around James Madison's residence in central Virginia were built by Baptists and Methodists, converted during one of the many rounds of revivals that coursed, almost continuously, through the United States from 1800 to the Civil War. During this period, revivalism, through which evangelical religion now found its expression, was "the grand absorbing theme" of American life.1 Few Americans could escape the evangelical orbit and fewer still wanted to. During some years in the first half of the nineteenth century, revivals occurred so often that religious publications that specialized in tracking them lost count. In 1827, for example, one journal exalted that "revivals, we rejoice to say, are becoming too numerous in our country to admit of being generally mentioned in our Record."2 The same could be said for many other years between the inaugurations of Jefferson and Lincoln, years in which historians see "evangelicalism emerging as a kind of national church or national religion."3

What was the condition of the country's religion in the 1790s on the eve of the great wave of revivals? Predictably, the nation's clergy thought that it was deplorable. Like broken records, they intoned the old dirges about "declension." In May 1798, for example, the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church beat its collective breast: "we perceive, with pain and fearful apprehension, a general dereliction of religious principle and practice among our fellow citizens . . . the profligacy and corruption of public morals have advanced with a progress proportional to our declension in religion."4 Young people, as usual, were viewed as barometers of the encroaching barbarism. Just as Jonathan Edwards, in the 1730s, brooded over the teenagers of Northampton, for "nightwalking" and assembling "in conventions of both sexes, for mirth and jollity," so Connecticut ministers, in the 1790s, complained that their youthful charges "spent too much time at

-99-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Religion and the Founding of the American Republic
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 136

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.