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The Second Great Awakening profoundly altered the American society In his book A Shopkeepers Millennium Paul Johnson traces the social origins of revival religion by researching Rochester New York illustrates the development of classes as the society moves toward industrialization and analyzes the role of religion in this transformation The author compares and contrasts the middle class and working class cultures of the city through the analysis of economic social political and religious changes The streets of Rochester were filled with merchants farmers and urban workingmen It was a mill town and its main product was wheat which was sent on to New York City The people were suspicious of outsiders and tried to share the enterprise either with relatives or good friends whom they could trust The country trade brought great profits and reinforced the family loyalties It was a federation of wealthy families and their friends p 27 Elite families maintained control over Rochester economy People were moving not only from place to place but also between social worlds as it was possible even for the poorest men to gain fortune and to be accepted into the elite social world When the Awakening started most of the followers were millers merchants craftsmen and lawyers and most made their living by country trade The revival reaffirmed the moral unity shared by farmers and the more prosperous members of the Rochester business community Until the coming of merchant capitalism most Rochester wage earners lived with their employers and shared in their private lives This was a way to control the workers and to keep them out of trouble But in 1827 the work relations changed from family-centered to pure wage labor and it became difficult to provide employees with food residence behavioral models and domestic discipline The neighborhoods changed also As the workingmen moved out of their employers houses they created residential areas of their own The
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