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US History – The Second Great Awakening, 1800-48

1. Origins

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About this Lecture


In this module, we look at the origins of the Second Great Awakening in the United States. The Second Great Awakening was a religious revival that was shaped by the American experience in the Revolution. The American Revolution challenged the traditional monarchical political system and inspired many Americans to challenge other areas of traditional authority, such as religion. The Second Great Awakening should be seen as an effort by ordinary Americans to disestablish state churches and take back control of their own worship.


In this course, Professor Susan Curtis (Purdue University) explains the causes of the Second Great Awakening. We start by looking at the origins of the movement in the United States and then turn to examine its key characteristics. We then turn to look at how the Second Great Awakening was connected to another change occurring in society at the time - the Market Revolution. After this, we finish by looking at the consequences of the movement and with some concluding remarks.


Susan Curtis in Emeritus Professor of History and American Studies at Purdue University. She specialises in the History of American culture, religion, and race relations; and is the author of four books - A Consuming Faith:  The Social Gospel and Modern American Culture (1991): Dancing to a Black Man's Tune:  A Life of Scott Joplin (1994); The First Black Actors on the Great White Way (1998); and Colored Memories:  A Biographer's Quest for the Elusive Lester A. Walton (2008).

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Curtis, S. (2022, January 12). US History – The Second Great Awakening, 1800-48 - Origins [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Curtis, S. "US History – The Second Great Awakening, 1800-48 – Origins." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 12 Jan 2022,