Chapter

The Anxiety of Boston at Mid-Century

John Corrigan

in Business of the Heart

Published by University of California Press

Published in print December 2001 | ISBN: 9780520221963
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520924321 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520221963.003.0003
The Anxiety of Boston at Mid-Century

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The distinctive feature of the Businessmen's Revival was the lavish manifestation of emotions in the religious gatherings. However, the precautions were taken to ensure that emotion was properly channeled and made subservient to good order in the noon hour and evening prayer meetings. The fear was prevailing among Boston people that their city was going to decay after it had passed its prime. People worried that public order was collapsing, and their fearfulness led them to enact new ordinances and to enforce more vigorously old ones bearing on the behavior of persons in the streets, on the Common, in public buildings, in private homes, and even in churches. In observing their society, Bostonians gushed openly about its magnificence while, anxious about crime and corruption, they devised ever more elaborate means to try to control everyday social life. The population was characterized by a pattern of defections and instabilities that painted city life as impermanent and contingent. Some persons were wealthy, a great many were poor, and ideas about the quality of life in the city varied widely.

Keywords: Businessmen's Revival; religious gatherings; Boston people; mid-century; anxiety; emotions

Chapter.  8891 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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