Antecedent to the civil war, the 19th-century social reforms sprang out of the devolution of religion. The period exhibited massive effort to apply Christian teachings in every social problem as a resolution. New converts received salvation and their repentance ought not only to relieve them of personal sin but to achieve complete social morality which meant sin got utterly eradicated. The evangelical converts became leading figures in numerous reforms in the 19th century.
Social movements for women’s rights, slavery abolition, and temperance resulted from the reforms. Social activists came up with changes to take good care of the mentally challenged people and maintain sanity in the prisons. Morality was the anchor of all they did, and every one of them sought for perfection in the eyes of God. The role of purifying the society got assumed by the local church especially when the church brought some people to salvation. New institutions came forth, and changes to some laws got implemented. Antislavery advocates and temperance activists had interest in transforming the political sector to conform to their individual beliefs hence influencing national politics (McLoughlin, 2013).
Women converted quite in a large number than the men, and they played a critical role in the social changes. Assumption perceived that women were more religious than the men. In spite of the male disapproval, the women converts had the upper hand in shaping identities and forming an active community in times of economic and personal insecurities. Women gained responsibilities out of the house because of the conversion as they joined the revival movement to ensure security and some leadership (Braude, 2001). The revival led to worshipper taking charge over their spiritual fates, and they embraced theologies that encouraged personal action in strengthening their salvation. The rise of Unitarianism was evident in the 19th century as groups rejected the orthodox Protestant belief.
Braude, A. (2001). Radical spirits: Spiritualism and women’s rights in nineteenth-century America. Indiana University Press.
McLoughlin, W. G. (2013). Revivals, awakenings, and reform. University of Chicago Press.