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The Great Awakening's Impact on American Society

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The Great Awakening was, and is to this day, regarded as arguably, one of the most impactful religious based movements in North America. One of the most significant reasons that this is true is the fact that the movement swept through the country not once, but twice. In focusing on the significance of the Second Great Awakening, it is important to realize that the impacts transcended religious areas, and spilled over to other aspects of American life. In specific, the Second Great Awakening led to the attempted re-establishment of utopian communities in hopes of pursuing a "perfect community" as well as inciting the movement for temperance in society in order to hopefully attain a more "pure society."

In evaluating the one of the most impactful results of the Second Great Awakening, it is imperative to analyze how the movement created a desire and further action to establish utopian communities. One of the most profound impacts of the Great Awakening was the realignment and reprioritization of Christian belief in society. After participating in the expansive revivals that the Great Awakening's were famous for, the audiences often experienced spiritual conversion or a revival of their faith. With the revivals and camp-meetings over, many individuals looked for different ways to apply the spiritual message to their everyday lives. While a minority, some individuals chose to attempt to form a utopian community free from sinful influence and the imperfections of society. In specific, the Oneida Community, founded by John Noyes, attempted to form the most perfect and Christ-like community possible. Noyes believed that without the temptations and moral conflictions present in society the citizens could grow closer to God by focusing on the "sweetness of human nature." Noyes advocated the abandonment of the normal practices of private property ownership, marriage, and parenting. Other groups attempting to form the perfect communities were the Shakers, the New Harmony community, and Brook Farm. All of the groups attempted to eliminate sinful practices and isolate themselves from the corruption of the world, in order to mirror the spiritual establishments made in the Second Great Awakening.

A common theme among the Second Great Awakening was the idea that to grow closer to God, citizens must separate themselves from the immoral practices of the common man. In addition to the pursuit of a utopian society, less extreme participants of the Second Great Awakening viewed alcohol as a catalyst of sin, and formed the temperance movement in order to reform societies view of acceptable lifestyle. Due to the harsh and monotonous life, common culture had accepted hard drinking as commonplace. Activists that followed on the coattails of the Second Great Awakening were immensely concerned with the spiritual implications that drinkers would come to experience, and alcohol was now in these organizations



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