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Between the 1850’s and 1900’s, protestant religious sects in the U.S. developed a strong sense of activism. This was a result of the Second Great Awakening, which stressed that the Bible indicated that it was through good works, not faith alone that earned a Christian their place in heaven. There were other reasons for the religious revival. The American Civil War resulted in people seeking solace in religion, especially in the devastated south. The ostentatious lifestyles of the Gilded Age industrial barons brought on attacks from preachers, known as Social Gospel preachers. They helped spur their flock to join the burgeoning Progressive movement and institute a “kingdom on earth.” There was also a rise in the number of religiously-rooted colleges who taught he bible along with academics. Religious youth groups, such as the YMCA and YWCA were also founded to help support popular temperance reforms.
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