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The Pursuit of Perfection

Social and economic upheaval resulted in religious fervor, moral reform, and sometimes confusion. The approach viewed by many American religious leaders as the best way to extend religious values was revivalism. The Second Great Awakening began on the southern frontier. The refprm movement in New England began as an effort to defend Calvinism against Enlightenment ideas. The refprm effort, the temperance movement  was directed at a serious social problem. An important change in the American family in the nineteenth century was the growing significance of mutual affection in marriage.Nathaniel Taylor, Lyman Beecher, Theodore Dwight, Charles Fonney all were prominent preacher of the Second Great Awakening. Woeking-class families viewed the new  public school as depriving them of needed wage earners. In theory, prisons and asylums were to substitute for the family. Abolitionism received its greatest support in the small- to medium-sized towns of the upper North.

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