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Era of American Revolution (1700s)


Era of American Revolution (1700s) Trattner chapter 3 Need for assistance Widespread poverty May have contributed to wish to break from British Changes in religious ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Era of American Revolution (1700s)

Era of American Revolution (1700s)
  • Trattner chapter 3

Need for assistance
  • Widespread poverty
  • May have contributed to wish to break from
  • Changes in religious expression, along with
    increasing need among the people, led to discord

Who needed help?
  • Disabled veterans, their widows and orphans
  • Survivors of those lost at sea
  • Seasonally unemployed
  • Children born out of wedlock
  • Needy immigrants
  • Refugees (Acadians)

  • Victims of economic downturns
  • Fire victims
  • Survivors of diseases and epidemics (dysentery,
    measles, smallpox, typhoid, malaria, scarlet

Substantial public response
  • Boston spent 500 pounds in 1700 and 4000 by 1725
    on poor relief
  • Estimated 25 of NYC population poor or near poor

Growing private response
  • Doing good became important for wealthy
  • Noblesse oblige characteristic of southern
    landholders (Washington)
  • Churches helped disease and disaster victims
    (Established state religion, headed by the Crown
    of England)
  • Quakers important may have used humanitarianism
    to counter opposition from established state
    church and majority religious oppression

  • Voluntary help groups nationality, fraternal,
    social (e.g., Scots, Irish, Germans, French)
  • Complementary roles of public and private aid
    characteristic of this period

Social Phenomena Contributing to Social Welfare
  • Great Awakening
  • Enlightenment
  • American Revolution

Great Awakening
  • Evangelical movement beginning in late 1720s
  • Focused on born again experience
  • Open air revivals, itinerant preachers, weakened
    authority of established church
  • Characteristic of Presbyterians, Baptists and

Great Awakening
  • Stressed possibility of salvation for all (not
    just the elect)
  • People became concerned with the salvation of
  • Encouraged humane attitudes and doing good
    among all social classes

George Whitefield
  • English preacher who made 7 visits to US
  • Greatest impact during 1739-41
  • 30,000 heard him speak in Boston
  • Extraordinary fund raiser (Franklin)
  • Assisted slaves by encouraging their learning to
    read to save their souls

  • Grew out of writings of Newton and Locke
  • Belief that progress always possible
  • Every human can use reason, has the potential to
    be good and can improve society
  • Poverty and other injustices can be eliminated
    social reform a consequence

Religious freedom
  • Enlightenment Great Awakening movements fueled
    the Revolution as much as political issues
  • Freedom of conscience in all matters
  • Established churches in many colonies placed
    severe restrictions on members of other faiths,
    including not only worship but also aid to the
  • Struggles across the colonies to disestablish the
    state church and allow others to flourish met
    great opposition
  • Roger Williams and Rhode Island

Isaac Backus
  • Baptist clergyman and church historian
  • Mayflower descendent, born in CT
  • Served as a parish clergy in MA
  • Faced severe discrimination from the established
    (non-Baptist) church of the state
  • Lobbied strongly and repeatedly for freedom of
    religion, as a protection from the state
  • Nothing is more evident, in reason and the Holy
    Scriptures, than that religion is ever a matter
    between God and individuals, and, therefore, no
    man or men can impose any religious test without
    invading the essential prerogatives of our Lord
    Jesus Christ.

American Revolution
  • Declaration of Independence implies improving the
    lot of the common person
  • New nation can overcome faults of European
  • Democracy inconsistent with illiteracy and
  • Separation of church and state, banning of
    slavery in north, attacks on debtors prisons

Problems and Issues in the New Nation
  • Displacement of people led to state
    responsibility (New York) for state poor
  • In hard times localities cant handle
    responsibilities to poor
  • Poor laws implemented in new territories
  • With separation of church and state county (not
    town) took over welfare in south

  • Welfare not handled on a national basis (states
    rights and limited central government)
  • Frontier emphasized individual responsibility,
    personal achievement, and self help
  • As wealth grew, charity and philanthropy
    increasingly associated with social recognition
    and status
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