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The Age of Reason

Thomas Paine's anti-Church doctrine that accused churches of seeking power and wealth to enslave men


18th century religious doctrine that emphasized reasoned moral behavior and the scientific pursuit of knowledge


believe in a unitary deity, reject the divinity of Christ, and emphasize the goodness of mankind

Second Great Awakening

religious revival characterized by emotional mass and widespread conversion in the early 19th century

Burned-Over District

name for western NY, a region swept up in the religious intensity of the Second Great Awakening


religious followers of Joseph Smith who founded a communal religious order in the 1830s


public lecture hall that hosted speakers on topics ranging from science to moral philosophy

American Temperance Society

founded in Boston in 1826 as part of a growing effort of 19th century reformers to limit alcohol consumption

Maine Law of 1851

prohibited the manufacture and sale of alcohol

Woman's Rights Convention at Seneca Falls

gathering of feminist activists at NY; Elizabeth Cady stated "all men and women are created equal" in her "Declaration of Sentiments"

New Harmony

communal society of around one thousand members, established in New Harmony, Indiana

Brook Farm

transcendentalist commune founded by a group of intellectuals; emphasized simple living while pursuing the life of the mind

Oneida Community

a radical utopian community established in the 19th century; advocated "free love" and birth control


emphasized simple, communal living and were all expected to practice celibacy

Hudson River school

American artistic movement that produced romantic images of local landscapes

minstrel shows

variety shows performed by white actors in black-face


literary and intellectual movement that emphasized individualism and self-reliance

"The American Scholar"

Ralph Waldo Emerson's address at Harvard College; declared an intellectual independence from Europe, urging American scholars to develop their own traditions

Peter Cartwright

most famous Methodist travelling frontier preacher; traveled around the country preaching to large groups.

Charles Grandison Finney

the greatest of the revival preachers during the Second Great Awaking who led massive revivals in NY; devised the "anxious bench"

Joseph Smith

said to have been given golden plates from an angel; founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormons)

Brigham Young

leader of the Mormons after the assassination of Smith; decided to move the group west to Utah

Horace Mann

U.S. educator who introduced reforms that significantly altered the system of public education

Dorothea Dix

New England teacher and author who advocated for the improved treatment of the mentally ill

Neal S. Dow

the mayor of Portland, Maine who sponsored a law that helped earn his nickname "Father of Prohibition"

Lucretia Mott

Quaker women's rights advocate who also strongly supported abolition of slavery; helped organize Seneca Falls Convention

Elizabeth Cady Stanton

women's rights advocate who organized the seneca falls convention

Susan B. Anthony

leader of woman suffrage movement; helped to define the movement's goals and beliefs

Lucy Stone

U.S. feminist who founded the American Women Suffrage Association

Amelia Bloomer

newspaper publisher; devised looser-fitting clothes known as "bloomers"

Robert Owen

British utopian socialist who believed that humans would show their true natural goodness if they lived in a cooperative enviroment

John J. Audubon

lovers of American bird lore owe much to this French-descended American; published the magnificently illustrated Birds of America

Stephen C. Foster

white Pennsylvanian of the mid-1800s whose songs captured the plaintive spirit of the slaves

James Fenimore Cooper

United States novelist noted for his stories of indians and the frontier life

Ralph Waldo Emerson

United States writer and leading exponent of transcendentalism

Henry David Thoreau

American transcendentalist who was against slavery;wrote down his beliefs in his works

Walt Whitman

United States poet who celebrated the greatness of America; famous for his beliefs on nature

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

United States poet remembered for his long narrative poems

Louisa May Alcott

American writer and reformer best known for her largely autobiographical novel Little Women

Emily Dickinson

United States poet noted for her mystical and unrhymed poems

Nathaniel Hawthorne

United States writer of novels and short stories mostly on moral themes; wrote the Scarlet Letter

Herman Melville

American writer whose experiences at sea provided the factual basis of Moby-Dick

Francis Parkman

An historian who wrote about the struggle between France and Britain for North America

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