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The Moralization of Poverty in the Panic of 1819

The Moralization of Poverty in the Panic of 1819 <p>Abstract (Lang: English):</p><p>The Panic of 1819, reinforced by the simultaneous spread of the Second Great Awakening, transformed American attitudes towards charity. As the "hard times" began, politicians, editors, and the clergy spoke of the need for all to help one another in a crisis that afflicted many who were both "prudent" and "industrious." However, under the pressures of unprecedented financial collapse and wide-spread unemployment, both political and religious leaders began blaming financial failures on the victims&apos; own laziness or extravagance. Instead of financial assistance, the poor were given lectures on the importance of virtue and religion. Soon, a long-established tradition of community support for the poor gave way to a new but also long-lasting habit of blaming poverty on low moral standards and weak character, an attitude that persisted through the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.</p> http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of the Early Republic University of Pennsylvania Press

The Moralization of Poverty in the Panic of 1819

Journal of the Early Republic , Volume 40 (4) – Nov 12, 2020

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Publisher
University of Pennsylvania Press
Copyright
Copyright © Society for Historians of the Early American Republic.
ISSN
1553-0620

Abstract

<p>Abstract (Lang: English):</p><p>The Panic of 1819, reinforced by the simultaneous spread of the Second Great Awakening, transformed American attitudes towards charity. As the "hard times" began, politicians, editors, and the clergy spoke of the need for all to help one another in a crisis that afflicted many who were both "prudent" and "industrious." However, under the pressures of unprecedented financial collapse and wide-spread unemployment, both political and religious leaders began blaming financial failures on the victims&apos; own laziness or extravagance. Instead of financial assistance, the poor were given lectures on the importance of virtue and religion. Soon, a long-established tradition of community support for the poor gave way to a new but also long-lasting habit of blaming poverty on low moral standards and weak character, an attitude that persisted through the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.</p>

Journal

Journal of the Early RepublicUniversity of Pennsylvania Press

Published: Nov 12, 2020

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