SECOND GREAT AWAKENING
A revival of religious feeling swept across the nation in the 1820s and 1830s. Church leaders called this period the SECOND GREAT AWAKENING. Preachers, like Charles G. Finney, a leader of the movement, urged Christians to let themselves be "filled with the spirit of God." Like the First Great Awakening during colonial days, this religious revival fired people's emotions. But this Second Great Awakening also offered something new. In the past, most Christian ministers had said that God had already decided who would be saved (predestination). Now, preachers told their flocks that everyone could gain forgiveness for their sins. Many of them taught that one way to be saved was to do good works. This optimistic message attracted enthusiastic followers throughout the West and North. It gave men and women alike a reason to work for the improvement of society.