American Studies | History | United States History
This essay shows how Scottish Common-Sense rationalism and evangelical religion conjoined in the later eighteenth century to create a powerful, mutually-reinforcing “Evangelical Enlightenment” with powerful antislavery implications. The defeat of Napoleon in 1815 cleared the way for an unprecedented wave of socially-progressive, religiously-undergirded American nationalism. This threat stimulated slaveholders and their allies to defend the institution through strategies designed to preclude the alliance of a powerful national state with the sanction of religion—the only combination powerful enough to overthrow slavery in a free republic.
Forbes, Robert P., "Slavery and the Evangelical Enlightenment from "Religion and the Antebellum Debate Over Slavery (Univ. of Georgia Press)"" (1988). Torrington Articles. 4.