Finney Revivals

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FINNEY REVIVALS began under the preaching of the evangelist Charles G. Finney in central New York about 1825. During the height of the revivals, from 1827 to 1835, thousands of people were converted to Finney's brand of evangelical Protestantism in enormous open-air meetings held in most large cities around the country. Although supported by such wealthy philanthropists as Lewis and Arthur Tappan and Anson G. Phelps, the revivals aroused staunch opposition because of Finney's sentimental style of persuasion and reliance on emotion as a measure of conversion. His appeal spanned the social classes, but his urban, middle-class converts furnished a large proportion of the leadership for the many reform movements of the antebellum era.


Hardman, Keith. Charles Grandison Finney, 1792–1875: Revivalist and Reformer. Syracuse, N.Y.: Syracuse University Press, 1987.

Johnson, Paul E. A Shopkeeper's Millennium: Society and Revivals in Rochester, New York, 1815–1837. New York: Hill and Wang, 1978.

William W.Sweet/a. r.

See alsoAnti-Masonic Movements ; Antislavery ; Circuit Riders ; Evangelicalism and Revivalism ; Religious Thought and Writings ; South, the: The Antebellum South .