Analysis of "The Kingdom of Matthias"
This paper is based on an analysis of Johnson and Wilentz's "The Kingdom of Matthias". The paper will discuss the core theme of the book followed by an analysis of the impact of the Second Great Awakening on the lives of men and women and the society as a whole.
In this book "The Kingdom of Matthias", the two historians Johnson and Wilentz give a detailed account of a unique 19th century American episode of religious revivalism. A man named Robert Matthews, living in New York, in 1830, proclaims himself to be Matthias, the Prophet of the God of Jews. . During this time period of 1820-1840, America was caught in a web of religious fervor, searching some underlying need for escape.This was the same time period of the 19th century when a series of cults, religious leaders and fascination with the likes of such leaders was at its peak.Robert Matthews was a small time carpenter who transforms himself into the Prophet Matthias.Exploiting the need for people to visualize optimism, prosperity, freedom and a new belief, Matthias initiates the creation of a new cult.
Typically like a false prophet, Matthias declared his own religious visions and fooled his followers through claims of prosperity, no economic oppression and freedom for the needy and the poor. Taking advantage of people's religious inclination and their search for prophecy, Matthias succeeded in getting many New York businessmen to join his "kingdom" which he established on one of their estates in Sing Sing.Utilizing the vulnerability of people, the fanatical ravings of Matthias captivated many intelligent people.His kingdom was based on the concept of prosperity, optimism, tolerance and freedom.He advocated claims of abundant food for all, naked bathing, wife swapping and complete obedience.He propagated the concept of the inferiority of women and damned wives who worke…