Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

David J. Sehat

Second Advisor

Wendy H. Venet


At the turn of the eighteenth century America was caught up in the fervor of religious revivals. These revivals began in the New England area and led to the largest conversion to Evangelicalism in US history. The revival movement became known as the Second Great Awakening. The Second Great Awakening experienced its greatest peak in the 1830's, at which point the revivals spread to many areas of America. The conflicted nature of the Second Great Awakening has led to a deep rift in the current historiography of America's religious past. While some historians argue that this movement expanded religious freedom, evidence shows that it had the opposite effect. During the Second Great Awakening the Mormon Church experienced rapid growth while settling the Missouri frontier. The Mormons experienced ten years of conflict with the citizens of Missouri as they were persecuted for their religious beliefs and practices.