Public Christianity's Renewal and Realignment 1815–1833

Jonathan D. Sassi

in A Republic of Righteousness

Published in print February 2002 | ISBN: 9780195129892
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199834624 | DOI:
Public Christianity's Renewal and Realignment 1815–1833

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After 1815 the intense partisanship of the preceding twenty years largely abated and an Era of Good Feelings dawned. This more placid environment fostered a recrudescence of patriotism among Congregational clergymen, who reimagined an important role for the United States in the providential renovation of the world. The disappearance of a common political foe also meant that Unitarian and orthodox Congregationalists were now free to go their separate ways ideologically. The Unitarians retained a hierarchical outlook and defended the traditional Massachusetts establishment until its end in 1833, while the orthodox relied on Christian voters and the revived and mobilized church to promote societal godliness. The new disestablishment position of the orthodox Congregationalists created a convergence of interests with such old dissenting groups as the Baptists and Episcopalians, which led to the coalescence of an evangelical coalition that increasingly predominated in regional and even national culture by the late 1820s.

Keywords: Baptists; Congregationalists; Episcopalians; Era of Good Feelings; evangelical; patriotism; Unitarian

Chapter.  19985 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Christianity

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