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Religion and American PoliticsFrom the Colonial Period to the Present$
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Mark A. Noll and Luke E. Harlow

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195317145

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195317145.001.0001

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Religion and Politics in the Antebellum North

Religion and Politics in the Antebellum North

(p.120) (p.121) 6 Religion and Politics in the Antebellum North
Religion and American Politics

Daniel Walker Howe

Oxford University Press

This chapter features an extended discussion of the evangelical contribution to antebellum intellectual and social life, a contribution that everywhere influenced more overt political behavior. Without an understanding of the religion of the middle period, there can be no understanding of the politics of the time. This is the lesson of the historiography of the antebellum republic as it has evolved over the past two generations. The chapter deals only with the North. It addresses the subject through a sequence of stages. The first step is simply learning to take religion seriously in the study of political history. The second is to comprehend the nature of the great evangelical movement of the age and its consequences for society. The third is to delineate the basic religious alignments that were reflected in the politics of the second party system.

Keywords:   American politics, antebellum politics, political behavior, political history, evangelical movement, second party system

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