The Sheldon Museum presents Sinners, Prophets, and Seers: Moral Reform and the Second Great Awakening, a talk by Professor Bill Hart, Middlebury College. No longer governed by a king, the new republic of the United Sates required its citizens to be virtuous and selfless. However, by the first decade of the 19th century, many Americans experienced personal stress and cultural disorientation. Westward expansionism, the rise of individualism, northern emancipation, and technological change led many Americans to question their institutions, beliefs, and values. Many sought to change their personal behaviors and social practices, which gave rise to a series of reform movements. The goal was to perfect the individual, American society, and ultimately the world.
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Producer: Henry Sheldon Museum