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God's Continent Divided: Politics and Religion in Upper Canada and the Northern and Western United States, 1775 to 1841

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  03 June 2009

Christopher Adamson
Hofstra University


Following the American Revolution, the social foundation supporting a settled ministry and sustaining the Old World tradition of an established state church began to crumble, prompting Alexis de Tocqueville to observe that in the United States, “the ideas of Christianity and liberty are so completely intermingled that it is almost impossible to conceive of the one without the other.” Large numbers of ordinary Americans who had internalized egalitarian, anti-aristocratic attitudes while advancing the patriot cause began to search for and find spiritual meaning in evangelical forms of religious expression. Indeed, the revivals sweeping the northern and western states between the American Revolution and the Civil War have been described as “the Revolution at work in religion.”

Religion and Politics
Copyright © Society for the Comparative Study of Society and History 1994

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101 Quoted in Banks, John, “American Presbyterians in the Niagara Peninsula, 1800–40,” Ontario History, 57 (09 1965), 136.Google Scholar

102 Gregg, , History of the Presbyterian Church, 548.Google Scholar

103 Schmidt, , Holy Fairs, 208.Google Scholar

104 See, for example, Brode, Patrick. Sir John Beverley Robinson—Bone and Sinew of the Compact (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1984), 68CrossRefGoogle Scholar. Wise, S. F., “John Macaulay, Tory for All Seasons,” 185202, in To Preserve and Defend: Essays on Kingston in the Nineteenth Century, Tulchinsky, Gerald, ed. (Kingston: McGill-Queen's University Press, 1976), esp. 198.Google Scholar

105 Archdeacon Strachan to Lieutenant Governor Sir Peregrine Maitland, 10 March 1826. Quoted in Baker, G. Blaine, “So Elegant a Web: Providential Order and the Rule of Secular Law in Early Nineteenth-Century Canada,” University of Toronto Law Journal, 38 (1988), 191.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

106 Charge to the Grand Jury, Western District, 1836 (Quoted in McMahon, Donald J., “Law and Public Authority; Sir John Beverley Robinson and the Purposes of the Criminal Law,” University of Toronto Faculty of Law Review, 46 (Spring 1988), 415).Google Scholar On Strachan's Christian Loyalism, see Wise, S. F., “‘God's Peculiar Peoples,’” 3661, in The Shield of Achilles, Morton, W. L., ed. (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1968Google Scholar), and “Sermon Literature and Canadian Intellectual History,” 79–97 in Preindustrial Canada, 1760–1849, Cross, Michael S. and Kealey, Gregory S., eds. (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1982).Google Scholar

107 Quoted in Fahey, , In His Name, 98.Google Scholar

108 Quoted in Ibid, 94.

109 Finke and Stark, “How the Upstart Sects,” passim.

110 Moir, , Enduring Witness, 88.Google Scholar

111 Grant, , Profusion, 39.Google Scholar

112 Millar, W. P. J., “The Remarkable Rev. Thaddeus Osgood: A Study of the Evangelical Spirit in the Canadas,” Histoire Sociale/Social History, 10 (05 1977), 61, 64, 67.Google Scholar

113 Landon, Western Ontario, ch. 9. On the American evangelical influence on temperance reform in Upper Canada and Anglican resistance to it, see Barron, F. L., “The American Origins of the Temperance Movement in Ontario. 1828–50,” Canadian Review of American Studies, 11 (Fall 1980), 131–59.Google Scholar

114 Quoted in Robinson, , The Unitarians, 55Google Scholar. On Spear's moral career, see Masur, Louis P., Rites of Execution: Capita! Punishment and the Transformation of American Culture, 1776–1865 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1989), 117–40.Google Scholar

115 John Strachan did not address the question of criminal punishment in any of his published writings.

116 Wilson, Thomas H., “An Historical Study of the Relationship of the Anglican Church of Canada to Kingston Penitentiary, 1835–1913” (Ph.D. thesis, Department of Religious Studies, University of Ottawa, 1978), 26.Google Scholar

117 Ibid, 48–49; 63–64.

118 Ibid, 140, 153, 180–81, 237. Talman, J. J., “Hanibal Mulkins,” D.C.B., vol. 10, 536.Google Scholar

119 Cf. Mathews, , “The Second Great Awakening,” 43.Google ScholarHigham, John, “Hanging Together: Divergent Unities in American History,” Journal of American History, 61 (06 1974), 1518CrossRefGoogle Scholar. Smith, Timothy L., “Protestant Schooling and American Nationality, 1800–1850,” Journal of American History, 53 (03 1967), 679–95.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

120 Quoted in French, , Parsons, 224.Google Scholar

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