But by the s almost all of these bodies had a deep evangelical emphasis in common. Protestantism has always contained an important evangelical strain, but it was in the nineteenth century that a particular style of evangelicalism became the dominant form of spiritual expression. What above all else characterized this evangelicalism was its dynamism, the pervasive sense of activist energy it released. As Charles Grandison Finney, the leading evangelical of mid-nineteenth century America, put it:
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. Upon waking, the subjects had no recollection of what had happened during their time in a trance. According to historian Robert C. Fullerby the early s, between 20 and 30 mesmerists were lecturing in New England. You may opt out or contact us anytime.
Despite its evident entertainment value—and its entrepreneurial nature—mesmerism had roots in 18th-century science. In time, some aspects of mesmerism would be forgotten, while others would lead to work on spiritual enlightenment and even the science of psychology itself.
During its heyday, mesmerism straddled lines between popular culture and scientific discovery, religion and science, lowbrow and highbrow culture. While recorded occurrences of the trance state date back millennia, the term and official practice of mesmerism emerged from the work of Franz Anton Mesmeran Austrian physician and astrologer.
He likened this invisible force to magnetism and even used magnets to align the forces within individuals with the forces of nature. Briefly fashionable in Vienna, mesmerism declined in popularity after several scandals and unsuccessful attempts at healing. When Mesmer moved to Paris inevents followed a similar trajectory.
Mesmer attracted many followers, which led King Louis XVI to appoint a commission from the Faculty of Medicine and the Royal Academy of Sciences to investigate the phenomenon of animal magnetism.
American ambassador Benjamin Franklin served on this commission. The effects of mesmerism, they pronounced, might be attributed to the imagination.
Mesmer and his pupils referred to this state, in which a person is alert and communicative but does not seem to be awake, as somnambulism derived from the French somnambulisme, or sleepwalking.
In these trance-like states, somnambulists displayed a heightened, perceptive intelligence. More importantly for physicians who supported mesmerism, somnambulists often displayed a gift for diagnosing both their own illnesses and the illnesses of others, from heart disease to menstrual aches to melancholia.
Thus, animal magnetism gained a degree of credibility as a medical science by revealing a fascinating pathway to what we now call the unconscious mind. It was this evolution in mesmerism that would propel it into the 19th century and American culture, paving the way for mental healing movements and the eventual rise of psychology as an academic discipline.
In keeping with the American spirit of democracy, mesmeric powers were not restricted to the learned or well-to-do; to practice this healing art, no formal education was required. And, while women were most often the subjects of mesmeric demonstrations, some women found that the trance state granted them voice and authority in the public sphere, as Anne Braude has shown.
Coming on the heels of the Age of Reason, mesmerism intrigued many intellectuals. He features the mesmeric trance as a form of escape in three short stories published in the mids: Regardless, Poe may be counted among a number of mid-century intellectuals who investigated the mesmeric trance.
Margaret Fullera notable female transcendentalist, writer, and editor, visited a mesmerist on multiple occasions for relief from debilitating headaches and an aching spine. Her close friend, prominent Unitarian minister James F.
Clarkehosted a mesmeric club at his home during the winter and spring ofwith attendees including Fuller and Joseph Rodes Buchanan.
Buchanan, a physician and professor of physiology, and Unitarian ministers Ephraim Peabody and Chandler Robbins, joined Clarke in his mesmeric investigations, experimenting with consciousness and approaching spirituality in novel ways.
Mesmerism occupied a gray area between religion and science before firm lines were drawn between the two. In the mesmeric trance, it was thought, people might rid themselves of material encumbrances, gaining pure insight to the spiritual realm.
Religious intellectuals hoped this meeting of science and spiritual awareness might usher in a new era of Christianity, one of palpable access to the spirit or even a way to reconcile body and spirit. Unsurprisingly, this trendy new practice also had detractors. Mesmerism commonly involved a male mesmerist waving his hands around the head, and often the body, of a woman.Diseases In 19th Century America Essay.
B Pages:4 Words This is just a sample. We will write a custom essay sample on Diseases In 19th Century America specifically for you for only $ $/page.
The Elements of Religion in 19th Century in America ; Emerging Infectious Diseases ; 19th Century America ;. American Political, Religious & Personal Identity in the Early 19th Century Because of this new influx of Christianity in 19th-century America, there was a rise in reform movements seeking to.
Religion In Nineteenth-Century America. by Dr. Graham Warder, Keene State College. Beginning in the late s on the western frontier, a new religious style was born. Nineteenth century America contained a bewildering array of Protestant sects and denominations, with different doctrines, practices, and organizational forms.
But by the s almost all of these bodies had a deep evangelical emphasis in common. Essays and criticism on Feminism in Literature - Women in the 19th Century Feminism in Literature Women in the 19th Century - Essay.
The Woman’s Right Movement in Antebellum America, pp. Introduction To what extent was the economic system of Colonial Latin America superior to that of British North America. This essay will demonstrate how the economic system of Colonial Latin America was slightly superior to that of British North America during the 18th century, due to several factors.
reality of the urban poverty in America.