Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Andrew Jackson and the Second Great Awakening

The Presidency of Andrew Jackson and also the Second Excellent Awakening symbolize the two major social movements taking location during the very first four decades with the nineteenth century. 1 movement was toward a bold new individualism and anti-elitism. It was personified by the self-made man and seventh President in the United States, Andrew Jackson. The second movement was a nationwide re-emphasis on religious principles.
These 2 movements shared some favorite elements and motivations. Inside a way, President Jackson was himself a manifestation of Great Awakening thought. At the exact same time, some items of Jacksonian democracy lay in direct conflict with prevailing religious thought. The relationship among these a couple of movements was complex and multi-layered. Jackson had to walk a fine line between his Presbyterian faith and his responsibilities for the country being a whole. Inside the end, each Jacksonian democracy and also the Second Great Awakening had profound and lasting effects.
Andrew Jackson – Man of the folks
Andrew Jackson was a unique character among the early Presidents with the United States. He was not born into society’s elite like most from the previous Presidents. Up to the time of Jackson, the Presidency was reserved for extremely educated and wealthy men.
Growing up, Jackson designed a status being a rough and tumble character. He was a brawler, even as soon as killing a man inside a duel (Remini, 1984). His formal education was minimal, but as being a teenager he developed an interest within the law. He studied on his individual for ones most part. None the much less he was able to craft a successful career like a Tennessee lawyer.
Jackson was in a position to buy an estate along with a range of slaves. He became a congressional representative then served inside the military during the War of 1812. Jackson became a nationally identified character due to his military exploits. In a war that was mostly a disaster for ones United States, Jackson assembled a rag-tag group of soldiers to successfully defend the crucial Port of New Orleans.
In his political career, Jackson portrayed himself as the advocate for the “common man”. He himself had come from humble roots and understood the needs from the average American. He tried to reform the technique of patronage. Jackson wanted to decrease the onerous influence of federal government on the folks but, as soon as in office, he adopted a much more dominating stance. He utilized the power with the veto and elevated the role from the President in policy making. Meanwhile in The us a new religious movement was emerging.
The Second Excellent Awakening
In the late 1700s Christian leaders have been concerned with what they saw as an increasingly secular society. A new movement had to become launched. The issues have been complex.
In the wake of the Revolution, churches faced 3 major tasks:
(1) organization, (2) reviving vital religion and, (3) following the population westward. (University of Virginia, 2008)
The Second Great Awakening was not an event that had specific beginning and ending times. Generally speaking, the movement lasted from 1800 until about 1840. The peak of this awakening occurred during the Presidential word of Andrew Jackson. The First Excellent Awakening had occurred less than a hundred many years before. Theologians separate the a couple of movements due to the distinct characteristics of the Second Awakening.
This movement was driven by Protestant clergy. Its goals have been to improve the influence of Christianity and to prompt practicing Christians to re-dedicate themselves to biblical principles. The unique circumstances of the movement caused a new brand of missionary work to emerge. The opening on the western territories led church leaders to verify their methods for reaching the unchurched masses. A far more vocal and effusive process of worship was produced to draw crowds in from far-flung places. In concert on the individualistic nature from the western settlers a more individual and less rigid type of Christianity was offered.
Evangelism was a primary aspect of the Second Good Awakening. During the past, protestant churches had not been as assertive in recruiting new church members. Most churches were smaller and locally oriented. The Louisiana Buy started a system that would bring about a massive expansion of U.S. territory. The western part of the country was a combination of new settlers, transients, criminals, Native People and immigrants. So that you can target these various and dispersed populations, Protestant leaders formulated the now well-known strategy of evangelism. Charismatic preachers traveled the land, hosting camp meetings. These meetings would last for days and always featured spirited preaching and singing (Bruce, 1974).
This approach to recruitment was somewhat far more egalitarian and inclusive than religions were inside the past. The movement was not with out dissenters. During this age, the Christian community became far more fragmented. Denominations divided and re-divided, always taking over a characteristics from the local community.
Despite criticism of its methods from some within the religious community, The Second Very good Awakening clearly had numerous rewards for society. In certain parts from the country, evangelism triggered a brand new era of social activism. Efforts to provide care for ones needy and infirmed benefited many. Some church-based organizations undertook efforts at social change. Temperance leagues as well as the movement to abolish slavery have been both direct offshoots in the Second Excellent Awakening. Andrew Jackson supported some of these initiatives, as soon as saying that “charity will be the actual basis of all true religion” (Burstein, 2003).
In America, the influence of religion on politics has often been heavy. As religion took on the various character during the Second Beneficial Awakening so, too, would politics. All of the early Presidents were religious men. Andrew Jackson was no exception. Jackson, however, reflected a unique individualism and sense of personal freedom that gave religious leaders hope of gaining even higher influence on American politics.
Analysis and Conclusion
Jacksonian democracy and also the Second Good Awakening had profound impacts on American society. Jackson saw himself like a man of God. His faith elevated as he moved through life toward his destiny as the seventh U.S. President. He was a Presbyterian, but was keenly aware that he was now President of all Americans. As such, he held firm for the principles of democracy even once pressured by religious leaders to perform otherwise.
At the same time, Jackson had the exact same failing as quite a few of his pre-Civil War colleagues. He continued to justify the course of action of slavery. Jackson was the champion in the “common man” – but not on this specific issue. Meanwhile, the disfavor of slavery was increasing among most persons of faith. Interestingly, Jackson “found no conflict between his religious views and his strong aid for ones institution of slavery…[or] for your forcible relocation of Native Americans” (Roberts, 2003).
Andrew Jackson was a religious man but not a religious President. His Presidency was considered successful, even if some of his actions left him open to criticism. He was not beholden on the Second Beneficial Awakening and its leaders, but he accepted most of principles. His stance on local manage as well as the rights in the common man helped offer an environment wherever the Awakening could flourish even if reality did not always match up with high-minded statements of principle.
Together, Andrew Jackson and also the Second Beneficial Awakening provided a additional egalitarian era inside the early 1800s. Neither was able to end the method of slavery, though. The us would half to face that crucible ahead of the ideals of either Jackson or the Second Good Awakening could be much more fully realized.
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