Cover

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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. i-vi

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Foreword

Samuel S. Hill

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pp. 10-17

"We've come a long way" since the years in which Rufus B. Spain did the research for At Ease in Zion: A Social History of Southern Baptists, 1865-1900, published as a book in 1967. Emphatically not a cliche, that phrasing points to several major developments in southern history over the last quarter century and also to the ways in which we study that history...

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Preface

Rufus B. Spain

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pp. xvii-xvi

Protestantism greatly influenced the development of American culture in the colonial and early national periods. Foreign travelers in this country before the Civil War frequently noted the vitality and significance of religion. Ministers enjoyed universal respect and honor in the counsel halls of church and state. No form of public attraction surpassed...

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Introduction

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pp. 2-11

Like the South as a conscious minority, the Southern Baptist denomination did not exist until the heat of the slavery controversy destroyed Baptist unity and forged Baptists of the South into a separate fellowship. Until the 1840's most Baptists of all sections shared a common faith and supported a single program of missions...

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1. Problems of Politics

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pp. 12-43

The last thirty-five years of the nineteenth century were fraught with political problems. The most portentous was that of restoring national unity after the period of sectional controversy and war. Union victory on the battlefield established the supremacy of the nation over the states, but it by no means restored a united country. For a generation after the cessation of hostilities, sectional...

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2. The Negroes: Segregation in the Churches

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pp. 44-67

The abolition of slavery was the most cataclysmic social upheaval in American history, and the consequent problem of assimilating the Negro population into the white-dominated society of the South has defied solution. Southern whites of the post-Civil War generation accepted the fact of emancipation, but they refused to grant the Negroes full political, social, economic...

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3. The Negroes: Segregation in Public Life

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pp. 68-96

Southern whites accepted emancipation in good faith, but they nevertheless expected life in the South to continue very much as before the Civil War. They advised the freedmen to remain on the farms and plantations where their labor was needed and where they were assured sustenance and lodging. But freedom to the Negroes meant freedom from gang labor...

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4. The Negroes: Segregation in Social Relations

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pp. 97-126

Antebellum concepts of race relations continued unchanged in the South after the Civil War. The combined forces of war, legislative action, constitutional amendment, and judicial decision were ineffectual in altering the social customs of Southern whites. Baptists, too, remained distinctly Southern in their social views. In defiance of powerful pressures...

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5. Economic Problems

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pp. 127-148

Between 1865 and 1900 the basis of the American economy shifted from agriculture to industry. The census reports of 1890 indicated for the first time that the value of industrial goods had come to exceed the value of agricultural products. American industry had come of age. Industrialization proceeded most rapidly in the North and Northeast...

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6. Social Evils and Social Reform

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pp. 149-173

The slavery controversy and the sectional conflict which followed divided the nation's reformers and dissipated their energies. For almost a decade after the war, organized efforts for social betterment all but ceased. In the 1870's, however, survivors from the antebellum reform period united with a new generation of reformers to revive the crusading tradition...

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7. Temperance

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pp. 174-197

The manufacture, sale, and consumption of intoxicating beverages are practices as old as the settlement of America. In colonial times and for half a century thereafter, drinking was universal. Americans of both sexes and of all ages and levels of society consumed quantities of rum, cider, gin, whiskey, brandy, and smaller amounts of wine and beer. Laymen and clergy alike...

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8. Personal Morality

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pp. 198-208

The Southern Baptist faith remained an intensely personal matter throughout the period from 1865 to 1900. Not only in its emphasis on personal redemption in preparation for the next life but also in matters of conduct in this life, the denomination stressed the responsibility of the individual. The world could be made better only as individual...

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Conclusion

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pp. 209-214

The most obvious conclusion that can be drawn from this study is that Southern Baptists were relatively unconcerned about the problems of society during the period from 1865 to 1900. As a denomination they attempted to remain true to what they believed to be the primary mission of the church—preaching the gospel—and they relegated social reform...

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Bibliographic Note

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pp. 215-221

The most valuable sources for this study were the weekly papers published by Baptists in the twelve states of the South. Although privately owned and controlled, each of these papers was approved by the Baptist convention (or general association) of the state in which it was published. The next most valuable sources were the minutes and other annual reports of the state...

Bibliography

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pp. 222-228

Appendix A. Baptist Bodies in the United States, 1906

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p. 229

Appendix B. Baptist Bodies in the United States, 1906, Number of Churches

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p. 230

Appendix C. Baptist Bodies in the United States, 1906, Membership

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p. 231

Appendix D. Comparison of Southern Baptists and Methodist Episcopal Church, South: Number of Churches and Seating Capacity, 1860

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p. 232

Appendix E. Comparison of Southern Baptists and Methodist Episcopal Church, South: Number of Churches and Seating Capacity, 1870

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p. 233

Appendix F. Comparison of Southern Baptists and Methodist Episcopal Church, South: Number of Churches and Membership, 1906

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p. 234

Appendix G. Southern Baptist Membership 1881, 1890, 1900

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pp. 235-236

Index

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pp. 237-247