Frontier Revivalism

The Second Great Awkakening

What is Frontier Revivalism ?

The movement part of the Second Great Awakening called for religious revival. Beginning in the late 1790's, the movement gained support later in the early 1800's. Originating in the South, the movements' momentum later traveled to the Old northwest. The spark for the change was in the manner of the preaching sermons. Circuit preachers would travel from one location to another and attract thousands to hear dramatic preaching at out door revival or camp meetings. This method of preaching revitalized faith within the people, as the image depicts.

Shockingly in the south black slaves and freed women could attend segregated, companion sermons. The emotional, spiritual, and social opportunity opened up to minorities through these sermons is incomparable. Social conditions improved for minorities through many citizens renewed dedication to faith, and good. The camp-meetings were high spirited sermons much like the first Great Awakening. many preachers included hymn-signing and solicitation of personal testimonies into their sermons. Many preachers were masters of showman-ship and psychology, explaining their success.


Who lead the movement?

Timothy Dwight:

1795- As president of Yale, Dwight was determined to counter the secular trend in American thinking. Utilizing his position, Dwight sponsored a series of religious revivals that fired up the collective soul of the Yale student body and spread across New England. Dwight's support and leadership position ignited the religious movement. the sermons preached did not attempt to use the old, drab tactics of the old-time Puritan community; rather than preaching of the vengeful God, they spoke of a benevolent father whose most passionate desire was the salvation of everyone of His children down to the most lost sinner. the new approach to religion was more accepting, and reachable, attracting a surplus of followers.

Peter Cartwright:

In the decades following the Revolution, a vast variety of choices appeared on the American religious landscape as an anti-authoritarian climate encouraged the formation of new democratic religious sects. The Baptists and Methodists were most adept in preaching to the new populist audience during these years of camp meeting revivalism. Peter Cartwright greatly contributed to the Methodists’ success at introducing evangelical Protestantism to the new settlements of the West. Born in Virginia in 1785 and raised in Kentucky, Cartwright served as an itinerant minister bringing his version of enthusiastic religion to Kentucky, Tennessee, Indiana, and Ohio.