The church in the United States: Calvinistic Protestantism and ethnic assimilation
This chapter focuses on the identification of the sanctions of ascetic Protestant ideology as manifested in formal writings. The nature of religious interaction between the dominant and subordinate classes was the pivotal factor behind the emergence and development of the independent black Church in the United States. During the half century or so preceding the Civil War, ascetic Protestant ideology predominated in the Southern region of the United States, and had its impact felt in every nook and cranny of social life. The association of tradition with religious morality is particularly relevant in the light of the social and intellectual developments taking place in the American South in the early 1800s. The religious context from which was drawn the category of the African as an inherently inferior being, and which remained throughout the antebellum period the bedrock of the worldview of Southern society, was ascetic Protestantism.