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  • Writer's picturelisaannettestanley

The 2nd Great Awakening. Women's History Month Day 6

The formative years of the United States in the time period between the Revolutionary War (1775-1783) & the Civil War (1861-1865) saw the birth of many great Social Reform Movements.

But how much do we really know about this time period known as the Second Great Awakening, during which our Women's Rights Pioneers lived?

Women like Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, Susan B. Anthony, Harriett Tubman, & Sojourner Truth were Social Reformers that worked for social reform issues like Abolition, Temperance (Prohibition of Alcohol) & Women's Rights - including the Right to Vote.

The Second Great Awakening was a period of Spiritual Revival that was roughly between 1790-1850, in which many new Christian Protestant Denominations were formed, all with a mind to bring about the Apocalypse & the Second Coming of Christ - creating a utopian "Heaven on Earth."

Following along from the First Great Awakening from roughly 1730 - 1780 with Calvinist & Puritans teachings of "Hell, Fire, Brimstone," the Spiritual Reformers of the Second Great Awakening REJECTED the notion of Manifest Destiny.

Manifest Destiny was the Calvinist belief that "man was Saved or Doomed at birth & no Good Deeds" on Earth could save you.

This was the backdrop for the Salem Witch Trials where 19 people - mostly Women were HUNG & MURDERED just outside of Harvard Square in Massachusetts. Now THAT is Pure EVIL.

So this is the backdrop that brought about the Second Great Awakening when these Women's Rights Pioneers lived.

Historically, girls were not given a formal Education. A lucky few such as Stanton who attended Johnstown Academy until the age of 15, later attending Troy Female Seminary in Troy, New York, accepted whatever Education that was afforded to girls & then filled in the gaps with reading books from her Brothers' classes - essentially self-taught in many areas.

During the period of the Second Great Awakening, the Evangelical Tent Revivals sprang-up everywhere - much like the image for this Blog Post.

The two most influential Evangelical Preachers of this time period were Lyman Beecher (father of Harriet Beecher Stowe) & Charles Grandison Finney, both of whom were Calvinists.

Stanton wrote in her Auto-Biography of being influenced by the teachings of Finney.

So, like Stanton, I've been filling in my Educational Gaps of things that I was not taught in History Class.

And like me, I'm sure you weren't taught this either.

Women's History is all but Absent from the History Books.

Welcome to Women's History Month Day 6.

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