The role of religion in the american civil war

Best case, you can set up a chart and write out the various views represented in the class. Stout and Charles Reagan Wilson, eds. It strengthened their resolve to follow the Underground Railroad in the face of untold risks and dangers toward what they supposed would be a new life in freedom.

The crowd shouts slogans: He has also written World without End: In his book Confederates in the AtticTony Horwitz discusses this phenomenon and even tells the story of a re-enactor who specializes in mimicking the appearance of a dead soldier whose body has become bloated by the first stages of putrefaction!

Religion in the Civil War

Meetings are still held in every part of the army; and in many, if not all the brigades, meeting-houses have been constructed for their own use, and faithful chaplains nightly preach to large and deeply attentive congregations.

Accordingly, an analysis of religion in general is of first concern. The Hanging of Absalom. Oxford University Press, In offering moral sanction for political and military resistance, Mayhew anticipated the position that most ministers took during the conflict with Britain.

This language of Christian nationhood dissolved the barrier between religious and secular speech in the South, and set the stage for a moral battle that declared a declined spirituality in the North, a region—according to southern voices—now run by infidels and fanatics under a godless government.

Ironically, this very conviction led Southern educators to talk seriously for the first time about educating the black people among them. This renewed interest in matters of faith led northerners to embrace a view of Christian perfection for individuals, a theology which in turn was applied to society in an effort to eradicate social ills.

However, historians are only slowly recognizing the contributions of Catholics and minority religions in relation to the Civil War. When all was said and done, religion formed the backbone of the South in the Civil War.

If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to Him?

John Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg. He retired from the army in as a brevetted major general. You may want to give your students the opportunity to do some research on antebellum southern life. The victor would show, in other words, whose side God really supported. After the discussion runs a bit, the teacher might then introduce some of the religious ideas that the men would have received from their churches, their families, or their chaplains.

Furthermore, some averred, God had ordained slavery as a punishment for African paganism. Oil on canvas, by an unidentified American artist. Let your students discuss the ways in which religion would affect people under circumstances of war such as these.

Ask students to reflect on the reasons that men would be willing to endure such risks. Ed Ayres and the University of Virginia have made available a remarkable archive of two communities during the Civil War—one North and one South—at The Valley of the Shadow that could give your students experience in examining primary resource material for a closer understanding of the differing points of view.

Some even took up arms, leading Continental troops in battle. The Gettysburg Address deals with the notion of "a new birth of freedom" through the shedding of blood [full text at lcweb. Religious practice suffered in certain places because of the absence of ministers and the destruction of churches, but in other areas, religion flourished.

The level of popular interest is attested by the fact that dozens of new titles on the Civil War appear every year as trade books as well as academic monographs, that magazines dealing solely with the Civil War enjoy a wide readership, and that hundreds if not thousands of re-enactors continue to fight battles such as Gettysburg, Fredericksburg, and Shiloh every year.

America as a Religious Refuge: There is, of course, a danger in opening discussion in this fashion. He is the author of several books, including Upon the Altar of the Nation:If anything, American religion became one of the Civil War’s major cultural casualties. And contrary to Stout, the Civil War was not prolonged.

Historian Jared Frederick discusses the impact of religion on soldiers, armies, and strategy throughout the Civil War. This video is part of the American Battlefield Trust's In4 video series, which presents short videos on basic Civil War topics. Elite Women and Religion in the Civil War South" covers new ground and clearly shows the major role religion played in the lives of women.

Charles Reagan Wilson's "Religion and the American Civil War in Comparative Perspective" invites comparisons of the American Civil War with other civil wars. Religion and the American Civil War stands 5/5(3). The Civil War was the single most destructive war in the history of this nation.

In fact, it equals all other wars combined. Let your students discuss the ways in which religion would affect people under circumstances of war such as these.

Of the thousands of titles dealing with the Civil War, surprisingly few address the significant role that religion played in framing the issues of the conflict. Fortunately, this neglect has begun to recede. Religion and the American Civil War is an underdeveloped field of study which has received relatively little attention until recent years.

The role of religion in the american civil war
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