Describe the role of religion in antebellum American life and the ways in which revivalism sought to effect social change. 

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The role of religion in antebellum America was extremely significant, despite putative separation of church and state. The Second Great Awakening lead to revival of intensely evangelical personal types of Christianity. Many evangelicals were concerned with temperance (forbidding alcoholic beverages). Northern Protestants were strongly opposed to slavery, and the abolitionist movement was strongly evangelical. Women began to compare their situation that of slaves, and much of the suffrage movement began in the context of evangelical abolitionism. Many Southern Christians, especially the Baptists, supported slavery, and this led to a regionalist fracturing of churches. Joseph Smith`s foundation of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints (popularly known as the Mormons), a polygamist religion that did not acknowledge that blacks had souls until the 1960s, led to the settlement of Utah, a territory only finally admitted into the united States when the main branch of the LDS church renounced polygamy. Many other small religious groups created experimental communities in the period as well.

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