18
RELIGION IN THE SOUTH

A RECOGNIZED HISTORICAL THESIS is that religion can be one of the strongest bonds of nationalism. However, in the United States, the presence of denominations which spread across regional boundaries before the Civil War was not a bond able to withstand the stress of sectional conflict. Under the strain of the slavery controversy, this spiritual link snapped.

Perhaps in the background of this development lay the fact that although the denominations were theoretically united, in essence most denominations contained diversities of opinion that would prove a source of weakness in time of trial. Religion did not play the role in the colonization of the South as it had in the North, and the Anglican Church became the established one in all of the Southern colonies. Dissatisfaction, however, developed, in the "back country" in particular, over the aristocratic tendencies and lack of religious zeal of the Church of England. This fostered the rise of dissenting sects which differed in theology and objected to the favored position of the Anglicans. Therefore, following the Revolution, the separation of church and state in the South was relatively easy to secure. The "Great Revival" of 1800 deeply affected the middle and lower classes of Southern people, strengthening the cause of evangelical Protestantism.

-340-

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The South since 1865
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface v
  • Table of Contents ix
  • 1 - The Southern Heritage 1
  • 2 - The Defeated South 25
  • 3 - The Southern Dilemma 42
  • 4 - Radicalism Vs. Conservatism 60
  • 5 - The Radical Triumph 78
  • 6 - The Conservative Triumph 101
  • 7 - Southern Agriculture, 1865-1930 115
  • 8 - Southern Industrialization Before 1930 136
  • 9 - The Revolt of the Farmers 154
  • 10 - The Southern Negro, 1877-1930 174
  • 11 - Labor in the South 198
  • 12 - Southern Society Before 1930 218
  • 13 - The Rise of Education for the Masses 241
  • 14 - Higher Education 258
  • 15 - The Southern LIterary Renaissance 277
  • 16 - Other Aspects of Southern Culture 296
  • 17 - The South at Play 322
  • 18 - Religion in the South 340
  • 19 - The Backward South 359
  • 20 - The Progressive South 383
  • 21 - Twentieth Century Politics 406
  • 22 - Southern Economic Development Since 1930 428
  • 23 - The Southern People Since 1930 453
  • Bibliographical Essay 479
  • Index 493
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