The role of religion in the american civil war

In fact, the South claimed to be a uniquely Christian nation. A close reading of these relatively short documents provides the teacher with a way of illustrating the prevalence of religious themes during the war.

Allegory depicting the rebuilding of the Union, with the figure of Christ saying "Do to others as you would have others do to you.

In a similar fashion, the Protestant churches appear to have helped sustain, at least for a few brief years after the war, the energy that was devoted to achieving a Reconstruction based on the ideals of the so-called Radical Republicans.

British Museum, London, England 88 Bookmark this item: Help your students step into the shoes of the ordinary soldier, sometimes a mere child, sometimes facing enemy soldiers who in other circumstances would have been friends and family; the woman left at home with children and often hostile slaves, aware that enemy troops might be near at hand ready to steal or kill; the leaders whose responsibility it was to defend home and wealth and nation; the African Americans who heard the cry of freedom, but faced deadly odds.

Modern historians addressing the relationship of religion and the Civil War typically focus on slavery as the one defining issue of antebellum religion. 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.

In this sermon Abraham Keteltas celebrated the American effort as "the cause of truth, against error and falsehood. The net effect of this was to make the southern women ferocious in their opposition to the North and their insistence that their men keep fighting. They viewed the North, with its superior resources and industrialization, as exploitive and irreligious.

War is a cruel, wasteful, and terrifying engagement between opposing forces that often must kill, or be killed. Yet at the end of the day, slave religion emphasized that God would change their earthly situation and punish the cruelty of the slave holders.

Baptist ministers, especially, sought to pass resolutions encouraging their congregations to work politically toward repealing laws banning slave literacy. The victor would show, in other words, whose side God really supported.

God has given us of the South today a fresh and golden opportunity—and so a most solemn command—to realize that form of government in which the just, constitutional rights of each and all are guaranteed to each and all.

Jackson rallied his troops with his conviction that God would give the victory to them.

Religion in the Civil War

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.

Stout and Charles Reagan Wilson, eds. In it, he explored the idea that Christians were obliged to suffer under an oppressive ruler, as some Anglicans argued. 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.

For the remainder of Confederate history, nearly three-quarters of all published sermons were thanksgiving, public fast or other war-related sermons, and the number of sermons actually in print represented only a fraction of the total.

The editors of Religion and the American Civil War focus on the period of the late antebellum era to early Reconstruction. Watercolor by Henry Alexander Ogden. He has also written World without End: Pastor of the West Church in Boston. 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.

Southerners, raised in a slave economy and versed in biblical language that had been amply applied to the context of that economy, truly believed that they were the good guys. Fortunately, this neglect has begun to recede.

Perhaps some did, but it was far more complicated than that. Previously considered a peripheral issue by most Civil War historians, religion emerged as a significant factor of the Civil War experience with the publication of Religion and the American Civil Wara collection of essays edited by Randall M.

With such news to cling to, the demoralized populace of the South now looked to the army for their spiritual hope. 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.

Modern historians have approached the theme of religion and the Civil War in at least seven distinct, albeit sometimes overlapping, subcategories:Religion and the American Civil War is an underdeveloped field of study which has received relatively little attention until recent years. 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. 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. If anything, American religion became one of the Civil War’s major cultural casualties. And contrary to Stout, the Civil War was not prolonged. Religion played a major role in the American Revolution by offering a moral sanction for opposition to the British--an assurance to the average American that revolution was justified in the sight of God.

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.

The role of religion in the american civil war
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