Resistance and Revisionism

Steven K. Green

in The Second Disestablishment

Published in print March 2010 | ISBN: 9780195399677
Published online May 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199777150 | DOI:
Resistance and Revisionism

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This chapter discusses the reactions among conservative clergy to disestablishment that were generated by the French Revolution and Jefferson’s election as president in 1800. It examines the impact of the rise of evangelicalism through the Second Great Awakening, the subsequent creation of moral reform societies, and the leadership of Lyman Beecher. It documents the rise of evangelical revisionist histories which sought to establish the religious nature of the founding period by creating a myth about America’s Christian nationhood. Finally, it discusses ongoing resistance among Jeffersonians, including the controversy over Sunday mail delivery in the late 1820s.

Keywords: Jefferson; French revolution; clergy; Lyman Beecher; moral reform; revisionist; Sabbath; Christian nation

Chapter.  16217 words. 

Subjects: Christianity

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