Which of the following did not characterize the early 19th century religious movement known as the Second Great Awakening?
A. extreme displays of emotion.
B. an emphasis on individual conversion.
C. increased interest in social reforms such as the temperance movement.
D. acceptance of slavery as ordained by God.
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The best answer here is D. The Second Great Awakening was not focused on slavery. It did not defend slavery as an institution and, in fact, was somewhat instrumental in bringing about the abolitionist movement.
The main ideas of the Second Great Awakening are laid out in options A and (in particular) B. The Second Great Awakening encouraged people to have a more personal connection with God. It encouraged them to seek conversion and to be “born again” on an individual basis. Therefore, it encouraged a more emotional style of religion. This means that A and B are not the correct answers.
The ideas of the Second Great Awakening did indeed lead to increased interest in social reform. The movement encouraged people to realize that they could perfect themselves and, importantly, their society. Once they started to feel this way, people started trying to bring about reform movements that would improve society. One of these was the temperance movement and another was the abolitionist movement.
For these reasons, D is the best answer.
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